Activision Blizzard cuts jobs amid ‘best’ financial results

Activision is planning to cut “non-development jobs” because it isn’t releasing enough games. This news comes via a Kotaku report that claims new Blizzard boss J. Allen Brack sent a letter to employees detailing the layoffs. GamesBeat has separately confirmed that Activision Blizzard chief executive Bobby Kotick sent a message to employees that said layoffs are coming. He did not get into specifics in that message.

The publisher is laying off people across Activision Publishing, Blizzard Entertainment, and King. This reorganization is primarily about taking money away from non-development jobs and putting those resources into its game-creation teams.

Here’s how Brack explained the layoffs in his letter obtained by Kotaku:

“Over the last few years, many of our non-development teams expanded to support various needs. 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.”

I have reached out to Activision Blizzard for a statement, and I will update this story with any comment. But these layoffs come as the company is also reporting the results of its 2018 fiscal year.

Cutting jobs while setting records

Activision Blizzard generated $2.38 billion in revenue, and the company was quick to point out that was an all-time record. At the same time, the company said that making more money than ever is not enough.

“While our financial results for 2018 were the best in our history, we didn’t realize our full potential,” said Kotick. “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.”