(This piece has been updated with Blizzard’s confirmation and an updated headcount of those affected.)
UK publication MCV/Develop is reporting today that the global redundancies for Activision-Blizzard are continuing. According to MCV’s unnamed insider source,
over 100 around 30 employees in the Asia-Pacific region are seeing staffing impacts to their offices, specifically affecting employees who work in marketing, PR, publishing, customer care, and localization.
When asked for a reason behind the office closures, the source said that the company was transitioning its non-development workforce to a full outsourcing setup, with the source quoted as saying, “Activision’s part of the company doesn’t believe in community management and fandom. They think their games sell themselves. They’d rather pop a couple of millions on having Beyonce tweet about CoD than hire a bunch of good people.”
This news follows additional global layoffs such as the shutdown of an office in Versailles, France, which prompted EU unions to urge other Blizzard employees in France to go on strike. And of course, we can’t forget the mass of layoffs after ActiBlizz posted record profits in 2019. Meanwhile in the US, Blizzard employees have been fighting for fair pay, going so far as to organize behind the scenes.
As for Activision-Blizzard, readers will recall that the company released its third quarter 2020 financials just a few weeks ago, admitting that overall revenue held steady and Blizzard’s revenues actually increased, though Blizzard also lost 2M monthly active users. At the same time, Bobby Kotick had told GamesBeat that “the company needs to hire more than 2,000 people to meet its production demands” on top of the 10,000 employees the company employs currently.
As of this writing, Blizzard hasn’t issued a statement confirming the layoffs yet; assuming the claim is proven true, we extend our condolences to the rank-and-file workers affected by the closures.
“We’ve been exploring how we might best integrate our capabilities across the business and be efficient as we evolve to meet growth opportunities and stay competitive in Asia Pacific. To that end, we have begun conversations with employees regarding a plan to centralize some roles across the region in our Sydney office. Decisions of this nature are never easy and supporting our employees through this process is our number one priority.”