Activision-Blizzard lays off 775 people after “record results in 2018”

Activision-Blizzard lays off 775 people after “record results in 2018”
Screenshot from first-person-shooter video game.

Enlarge / A central location from the Blackout map in Call of Duty: Black Ops IIII. (credit: Activision)

Game publisher Activision-Blizzard will lay off 8 percent of its work force, or around 775 people, CEO Bobby Kotick announced on the company’s earnings call today. The move is being made in an effort at “de-prioritizing initiatives that are not meeting expectations and reducing certain non-development and administrative-related costs across the business,” Kotick explained.

The layoffs, which will mostly be in non-game-development areas like publishing, will impact Activision, Blizzard, and King. In one case, an entire studio of 78 people was shut down—Seattle-based mobile game studio Z2Live. This is in spite of Kotick saying that the company achieved “record results in 2018.” Activision made a statement about exceeding its expectations, but other market-watchers clearly had higher numbers in mind.

The implication is that the positive results reported came thanks to a fairly narrow bench of franchises, with many of the company’s efforts outside those franchises not meeting expectations.

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