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Activision Blizzard to cut eight per cent of workforce despite "record revenue"

Firm says development workforce to increase by 20 per cent

Activision Blizzard to cut eight per cent of workforce despite "record revenue"

We now have a better idea of what those rumoured layoffs at Activision Blizzard look like.

The publishing giant's CEO Bobby Kotick, speaking to investors as transcribed by Seeking Alpha, said not only did the company see record revenue, it is also making an eight per cent reduction in headcount as the firm looks to focus more on development.

In the press release for its financial results, the top exec said that while 2018 was a record year for the company, it "didn’t realise our full potential".

Activision Blizzard has spun this as saying that on average, there are going to be 20 per cent more developers working on its Call of Duty, Overwatch, Warcraft, Hearthstone and Diablo franchises, as well as its mobile Candy Crush IP.

Staff kept waiting

An actual figure hasn't been placed on the number of people losing their jobs, but given that Activision Blizzard employs around 9,600 people, it looks like close to 800 workers will be affected. The company has set aside $150m to compensate those who are being made redundant.

According to Kotaku, Blizzard, King, Activision's publishing arm as well as its studios such as High Moon are affected by these cuts. Those who are to lose their jobs were notified around the time the company's financial call took place.

The Blizzard cuts seem to be in its publishing and esports arms - not from game development as previously suggested - not hugely surprising given that investment has already been pulled from Heroes of the Storm esports.

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PCGamesInsider Contributing Editor

Alex Calvin is a freelance journalist who writes about the business of games. He started out at UK trade paper MCV in 2013 and left as deputy editor over three years later. In June 2017, he joined Steel Media as the editor for new site In October 2019 he left this full-time position at the company but still contributes to the site on a daily basis. He has also written for, VGC, Games London, The Observer/Guardian and Esquire UK.