Steven R. February 10, 2019
Hard times are reportedly inbound for Activision-Blizzard.
According to Bloomberg’s Christopher Palmeri, the publisher behind Call of Duty, Overwatch, and Diablo is set for mass layoffs this Tuesday. While no exact number is given, the report states that pink slips “could number in the hundreds.” How this will impact the company, and where these layoffs will primarily hit, is unknown.
The news comes after a tumultuous stretch for the company, one defined by declining player bases in key games, lagging sales, and regular turnover in the boardroom. In a November conference call the company acknowledged waning interest in titles such as Overwatch and Hearthstone, which was followed by underwhelming revenues from the release of Destiny 2: Forsaken.
In January, Activision-Blizzard sustained another hit when Bungie, the developer behind the Destiny series, announced that it was splitting from the publisher. This resulted in Activision-Blizzard losing the Destiny franchise and with it, hundreds of millions of dollars in potential future revenue.
The roll of bad news has seen Activision-Blizzard stock prices cut in half over the last six months. Since peaking at $84.68 in October, shares have dropped as low as $42.53, with prices hovering around that mark today.
Blizzard was already shaping up for a rough 2019. Despite the looming release of Warcraft 3: Reforged, the company was actively looking to cut costs according to a Kotaku report. This was coupled by an increasingly meddlesome approach from Activision that may be attributed to the company’s rough 2018.
Despite these layoffs, the company is still positioned for a busy 2019 that includes the releases of Diablo Immortal, Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, World of Warcraft: Classic, and more.