Activision Blizzard Cuts Nearly 800 Jobs Despite ‘Best’ Financial Year

The Santa Monica-based company said it’ll focus on investing in its “biggest franchises,” including “Call of Duty”

Last Updated: February 12, 2019 @ 3:04 PM

Activision Blizzard, the company behind several of the world’s top video games, including “World of Warcraft” and “Call of Duty,” is laying off nearly 800 employees.

Chief executive Bobby Kotick announced the layoffs on the company’s earnings call on Tuesday, saying Activision Blizzard would cut approximately 8 percent of its jobs — or about 775 out of its 9,600 employees. The cuts will chiefly impact workers outside its game development divisions. At the same time, Kotick said the company would be “driving a significant increase in investment focus and capabilities around our biggest franchises,” including “Diablo” and “Call of Duty.”

A rep for Activision Blizzard did not immediately respond to TheWrap asking precisely how many employees would lose their jobs.

Many employees were told they’d been let go on Tuesday afternoon, according to Kotaku.

“Over the last few years, many of our non-development teams expanded to support various needs,” Blizzard president J. Allen Brack said in a staff note obtained by Kotaku. “Currently staffing levels on some teams are out of proportion with our current release slate. This means we need to scale down some areas of our organization. I’m sorry to share that we will be parting ways with some of our colleagues in the U.S. today. In our regional offices, we anticipate similar evaluations, subject to local requirements.”

Bloomberg reported last week that Activision Blizzard would likely cut hundreds of jobs as the Santa Monica-based company looked to cut costs and boost profits.

Activision Blizzard’s stock price has been cut in half since late September, when it was trading at about $83 per share. The company reported $2.84 billion in Q4 revenue on Tuesday afternoon, falling short of analyst estimates of about $3 billion. After making more than $7 billion in revenue last year, the company forecasts it’ll earn $6.30 billion in revenue in 2019.

“While our financial results for 2018 were the best in our history, we didn’t realize our full potential,”  Kotick added. “To help us reach our full potential, we have made a number of important leadership changes. These changes should enable us to achieve the many opportunities our industry affords us, especially with our powerful owned franchises, our strong commercial capabilities, our direct digital connections to hundreds of millions of players, and our extraordinarily talented employees.”