Thursday, March 1st 2012

Blizzard Entertainment Lays Off 600 Staff

Blizzard Entertainment has reportedly laid off about 600 employees, about 10 percent of which are positions related to game development. It's reported that the people working on World of Warcraft are not affected. The company says that the decision came after a review of business needs. The company's game development and publishing schedules as a result of these job cuts, are not affected, the company says. It's still looking to hire game developers in some positions.

Source: Huffington Post
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25 Comments on Blizzard Entertainment Lays Off 600 Staff

#1
btarunr
Editor & Senior Moderator
Many Thanks to twylith for the tip.
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#2
dinmaster
i think this happens to companies every so often, better sooner then company shutting down like some have.
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#3
punani
Firing while hiring :wtf: ?
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#4
FordGT90Concept
"I go fast!1!11!1!"
That's pretty vague. Why didn't they give a reason for the cuts? Warcraft has fewer customers than it used to but we're still talking in excess of 10 million. Starcraft was wildly successful as well and we can't neglect to mention they're working on successors to these titles as well as Diablo.

Activision Blizzard, of course, has the run-away success of Call of Duty.


I'm thinking Blizzard has a case of really poor management and the layoffs are a consequence of that. Any business with good fiscal sense would have released a successor to World of Warcraft 3-5 years ago (now they got massive competition from Rift), wouldn't have waited over 10 years to release StarCraft II, and wouldn't have done the same to Diablo III.

Blizzard is stuck in a 20th century mindset and they need to get their head into the highly competitive 21st century gaming scene. Hopefully this is the first step in making that transition.
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#5
DannibusX
Blizzard's fine. The layoffs are likely in the majority of customer support for WoW, with a few developers coming from D3 and SC2: Heart of the Swarm production winding down.

WoW subscribers are down to around 10 million from their all time high of 12 million a couple of years ago. That's still a pile of money, but I'm sure that they're just streamlining and could have automated/outsourced some of their support functions.

I'll blame Kotick though.
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#6
BazookaJoe


Real class act leaving this page up, given whats going down...

[EDIT] : Although, in South Africa - whenever a company decides they want to make more money, they fire a PILE of their permanent staff, then offer their jobs back to them at hugely reduced pay, and only as a temporary contract, so they have no benefits or anything, and many people have no choice but to accept - GREAT way for a galactic classed anus of a company to "Save Money" (Read : Buy MORE Gold Plated Lamborghinis). Not saying that's whats happening here - I'm just saying, it happens.
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#7
Inceptor
Sounds to me like a 'shake-up'; cut the dross and bring in some new blood to inject new ideas.
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#8
thematrix606
When you partner up with Activision...

But seriously, Blizzard is dead, it's been dead for the last few years. Just like Sierra, id, Bioware, Rockstar, Dice, and... just go to the wiki page, and pick you failure ;)

They all had great ideas, and they just pushed and tried to profit with the SAME fucking ideas every time, shoving it down our throats, expecting profit, and guess what, we bought it.

Time for something new, bring in the new, the exciting, the fun, the innovative. Ever wonder why indie games are becoming so popular? INNOVATION!
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#9
NC37
When I saw this news today I cheered hoping it was the B team that got fired for ruining WoW. Then I saw who it was...meh, prolly the 600 were the ones who handled Blizzcon stuff. Blizz won't be needing them anymore.

WoW didn't really need a successor, it just needed to churn out good expansions and bring the engine up to date faster. Cata was the log that derailed the money train. Pandaria is the survivors attempting one last stand before being overrun by Borderlands cannibals..."STRIP THE FLESH!! SALT THE WOUND!!!"

People keep saying Activision has no say in what Blizzard does, but ever since that merger I've seen quality going down and Blizz making blunder after blunder.

Really don't think the numbers are accurate from Blizzard. They might have regained some with the freebie deals and the D3 deal but I wouldn't doubt they are hiding the true numbers. Investor reasons and such.
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#10
AsRock
TPU addict
by: punani
Firing while hiring :wtf: ?
Lower pay for newly hired ppl ?.. And others would not except lower pay ?..
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#11
1Kurgan1
The Knife in your Back
by: FordGT90Concept
Any business with good fiscal sense would have released a successor to World of Warcraft 3-5 years ago (now they got massive competition from Rift)
I do agree with most of what you said, except for that. I played WoW for many years, and played most other MMO's out there, and pay attention to the scene. RIFT is far from being a threat, like you said, they should have had a new product out years ago. The only thing threatening WoW is it's age.
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#12
Mussels
Moderprator
its almost like starcraft II doesnt exist in this thread. cough. let alone the soon to be launched diablo III.


blizzard is far from a failure, its a powerhouse in the gaming industry from just a few titles.
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#13
thematrix606
by: Mussels
its almost like starcraft II doesnt exist in this thread. cough. let alone the soon to be launched diablo III.


blizzard is far from a failure, its a powerhouse in the gaming industry from just a few titles.
It's called milking a cow. We want a new cow, because this one has all it's nutrition and goodies all deprived ;)

Releasing sequels after 10 years? HA! (awaiting fanboy reply: "but they release it when it's done")

After 10 years you'd expect a master piece, SC2 was far from that, it was the same game with a few new units and better graphics(It's like giving coke addicts a bigger dose... it doesn't really fix the problem). You could have rolled out SC2 in ~3 years without a problem delivering the same functionality/features as it did.
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#14
Mussels
Moderprator
in my mind SCII is a masterpiece. i seriously play it daily, and the game is not flawed or buggy. they need the top players in the world (masters/grandmasters leagues) to even find balance issues for patches.

you can look at any one feature or bit of polish and say any RTS, any company could have done that - but in this case, they got them all. apart from the online only issue, the game is damn near perfect.
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#15
Isenstaedt
by: thematrix606
Blizzard is dead, it's been dead for the last few years. Just like Sierra, id, Bioware, Rockstar, Dice, and...
Not sure if serious...
Posted on Reply
#16
yogurt_21
by: Mussels
its almost like starcraft II doesnt exist in this thread. cough. let alone the soon to be launched diablo III.


blizzard is far from a failure, its a powerhouse in the gaming industry from just a few titles.
sure sc2 has sold 4.5million units thus far (compare that with 11 millioncopies over 10 years for the original)

so it has been super successful, but that doesn't change the fact that blizzard isn't on its own anymore and the execs at Activision are more likely to want huge bonuses than to retain 600 employees.

a product may be successful at the same time a business is successful but employees are still at the mercy of executives. So sure the money may still be rolling in, but that doesn't change the fact that it won't likely make its way down to the employee level. So bonus budget is through the roof, but the overhead budget for employees it likely as tight as ever.
Posted on Reply
#17
Fx
by: FordGT90Concept
That's pretty vague. Why didn't they give a reason for the cuts? Warcraft has fewer customers than it used to but we're still talking in excess of 10 million. Starcraft was wildly successful as well and we can't neglect to mention they're working on successors to these titles as well as Diablo.

Activision Blizzard, of course, has the run-away success of Call of Duty.


I'm thinking Blizzard has a case of really poor management and the layoffs are a consequence of that. Any business with good fiscal sense would have released a successor to World of Warcraft 3-5 years ago (now they got massive competition from Rift), wouldn't have waited over 10 years to release StarCraft II, and wouldn't have done the same to Diablo III.

Blizzard is stuck in a 20th century mindset and they need to get their head into the highly competitive 21st century gaming scene. Hopefully this is the first step in making that transition.
not to mention they could have released a much needed Warcraft 4 by now. pfft!!
Posted on Reply
#18
Kreij
Senior Monkey Moderator
Hiring, while firing happens all of the time in all types of businesses.
If you have higher expenses for a new project and need qualified people for it, it makes sense to look for ways to trim overhead costs where they are not needed anymore.
As far as reassignment goes, you can't say, "We don't need all these support people for WoW anymore because our user base is on the decline, so let's put them in a graphics designer or game programming position."

Another example would be, "what do you do with your concept artists when the concept art is complete for a game?" Hopefully you can move them to new projects, but if there is nothing coming up (as sometimes is the case for smaller studios), it makes no sense to pay them to sit there doing nothing productive.

I'm not heartless and find it unfortunate that people get let go when they are in a group that is targetted for downsizing, but it's the reality of working for any company on the planet.

As far as executive bonuses go, if you want top-tier executives you are going to have to pay them A LOT as the market for the best people at that high of a level is incredibally competitive. If you aren't willing to dish out the pay and perks ... you get what you pay for .. which doesn't always turn out well. Of course, sometimes the highly paid people does perform on such a stellar level either. ;)

Just my 2 cents.
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#19
Prima.Vera
they fired all the people that worked on Diablo 3??? I wouldn't be surprised. The rumors are saying that the game will be a total failure....the rumors
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#20
Casecutter
600! - Probably younger folks of South County…. it sucks! I pray it's the end... but probably just a first round.

Mazda - Irvine 1992; I was in the first wave ~600 after boons of hiring from 4-5 years of audacious dreams of growth. Have faith even in that dismal economy I found great job in 2 months.

Prayers of resiliency and optimism for employment goes out to all those.


by: Kreij
As far as executive bonuses go, if you want top-tier executives you are going to have to pay them A LOT as the market for the best people at that high of a level is incredibally competitive. If you aren't willing to dish out the pay and perks ... you get what you pay for .. which doesn't always turn out well. Of course, sometimes the highly paid people does perform on such a stellar level either.
Exactly the "Foolio" mentality I'm straddled with now after corporate purchase(s)... Decimated a great American Brand... moved the jobs to Mexico! Well actually a slaughter bunch companies, there track record is really pathetic, but it’s all about “stock options” and for that their life is all good.
:shadedshu
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#21
Kreij
Senior Monkey Moderator
Another news site posted ..
The publisher said that forthcoming releases, such as Diablo 3, would not be affected by the redundancies.
This just says the releases would not be affected and said nothing about the people.
I am pretty sure they are not getting rid of everyone who worked/is working on D3.
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#22
OneCool
They should hire me.

I can bad mouth Ubisoft,Id,Bethseda and all others on forums for them :nutkick:

Hell ill even lie and say I hate Skyrim and tell everyone how much better Diablo 3 is :laugh:
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#23
trickson
OH, I have such a headache
Your Fired!
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#24
Frick
Fishfaced Nincompoop
by: thematrix606
It's called milking a cow. We want a new cow, because this one has all it's nutrition and goodies all deprived ;)

Releasing sequels after 10 years? HA! (awaiting fanboy reply: "but they release it when it's done")

After 10 years you'd expect a master piece, SC2 was far from that, it was the same game with a few new units and better graphics(It's like giving coke addicts a bigger dose... it doesn't really fix the problem). You could have rolled out SC2 in ~3 years without a problem delivering the same functionality/features as it did.
It's not like they spent 10 years working on the game. I really REALLY don't see why people bitch about that. And if they did you'd say they were milking cows anyway.

by: Prima.Vera
they fired all the people that worked on Diablo 3??? I wouldn't be surprised. The rumors are saying that the game will be a total failure....the rumors
And other rumors say it's awesome, so whatever.
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#25
[H]@RD5TUFF
by: Isenstaedt
Not sure if serious...
ditto
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