Activision Blizzard lays off 800 employees, Blizzard to not release any major titles this year

Discussion in 'GBAtemp & Scene News' started by Chary, Feb 9, 2019.

  1. HaloEliteLegend

    HaloEliteLegend Zzzz

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    Regardless of who created the problem, the existence of workers who now aren't necessary doesn't make sense. You can absolutely blame the higher ups for the problem, and I would concur in this case. Most of those higher ups have left the company. There was a mass executive exodus at Activison, the CEO was ousted, and the company's CFO was fired. So, the higher ups that made this mess are gone. You mentioned EA, and a similar executive exodus happened there.

    Looking back at Activison, the company is undergoing a restructuring. That means some jobs will no longer be necessary. If we get into supply and demand, and if we take supply to mean the company's level of output, they lost a big series in Destiny, and have scaled back other series in light of demand (for series like Skylanders) dropping. With a cut in their ability to supply content, and with a drop in demand for some of their other content, the equilibrium of supply drops, and you now have a surplus of labor within the company. The more employees you have, the less efficient each employee is on average, as you hire the best talent first and then every consecutive hire is, on average, a decrease in talent. If your company is scaling back, the output falls under the bottom line efficiency when you have too many resources (in this case, workers) applied to too little production for the new equilibrium supply. And thus, inefficient resources need to be jettissoned. A round of layoffs is necessary to offset the decrease and buoy the company. It's basic economics that apply to all companies, regardless of size. You're hired for your labor and are let go if your labor is no longer needed.

    On a more personal note, since it's easy to get too impersonal when examining economics, a CEO or executive team can lift a company into the sky or drive them into the dirt. It's unfortunate when the latter occurs, and unfortunate for the layoffs that typically follow. The ebb and flow of hiring and layoffs is an immutable fact of economics in a capitalist society, not just because of executive failures, but also because of market forces beyond the control of any one company. I believe companies that have cash should provide severance to ease the transition of laid-off workers into a new job. Activision, from what I hear, is offering 6 months of payment as severence. Hopefully that is enough for those laid off workers to find new work. We have labor laws to account for this, and I believe it's in the interest of game industry workers to unionize, given the volatility of the industry and its resultant conditions for worker exploitation.
     
  2. FAST6191

    FAST6191 Techromancer

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    Are you sure?
    When learning about project design I was told always always always have a specification... and they were right. The one time, of many occasions I forwent this wisdom, that it did not come back to bite me in the arse was when I was doing work for reasonable people (something of a rarity in some of my circles).
    Part of that is a timeframe/schedule of works. They then either failed to do a proper estimate, failed to work at the required/stated rate or encountered some unexpected troubles (and failed to allow some flexibility to fix it). Given the nature of their development this last few years I am not inclined to believe the latter is too troubling. I will have to look at how many of their games came in over budget but if that is the case then the execs were still prepared to stump up some more cash as well.

    Similarly they are the ones that made the games that did not sell. It could be that some moron marketing department decided that the kids were into [this] and did them in that way, or it could have been directed from on high by the execs (rare as I imagine it is more of a pitch and sequel type affair). Similarly given that we have had fantastic games come out of rather dysfunctional environments, seemingly for far lower budgets (how many a late PS2/early 360 era dev would have loved to have even half of what a potentially flagship title would get today?) and far more restricted hardware then.

    It could be that there is a single location to lay blame but from where I sit there looks to be lots to go around everywhere. If I am going to absolve the low level workers of anything then I am going to need something more.

    Have you seen Pantheon? I have never been one for MMOs (much much prefer local co-op here) but that actually has me excited for something for the first time in a very long time.
     
  3. Jayro

    Jayro MediCat USB and Mini Windows 10 Developer

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    Blizzard needs to cut their losses at this point, and leave Activision to die.
     
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  4. Joe88

    Joe88 [λ]

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    Last edited by Joe88, Feb 9, 2019
  5. leon315

    leon315 POWERLIFTER

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    the overwatch has a lot of potential to become a major E-sport game, the goal was selling interval spots and get as much sponsors as possible, since overwatch user base has reached a saturate point and it's so hard to gain more new players.

    p.s. can 't go further 2900, but making a smurf and entertain on golds and silvers is priceless xD
     
  6. Joe88

    Joe88 [λ]

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    Well it's not so much about gaining more players, its more about keeping the player base steady which has been rapidly been dwindling for a while now. You can also see it on twitch and other streaming platforms and ow is not in a good place anymore.
     
  7. fate6

    fate6 Haha, I killed a Pumpkin!

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    1)ActiBlizz can't sell what they never owned, Bungie always had ownership of the Destiny IP while ActiBlizz had a 10 year contract to publish and market the series.

    Said contract was close to ending and Bungie having new funds from tencent wanted out while actiblizz also wanting out due to "low sales"

    2)Activition and Blizzard are a single company
     
  8. Xzi

    Xzi Virtual Bartman

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    Why are they losing their jobs? Do they not have phones?
     
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  9. Snugglevixen

    Snugglevixen Fox Princess

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    Activision Blizzard now hiring:
    Required skills: having a phone
     
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  10. Dr.Hacknik

    Dr.Hacknik Advanced Maniac | Dev | Trap

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    I'm just glad Bungie got their IP back from those shitheads at Activision. Good on them, but this seems all too suspicious for them to be firing employees for "restructuring."
     
  11. drazenm

    drazenm Member

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    Time to finally finish up and release Diablo 4? It's about time.
     
  12. DavidKang

    DavidKang GBAtemp Regular

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    I guess they couldn't play the new Diablo game because they didn't have phones...
     
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  13. Ericthegreat

    Ericthegreat Not New Member

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    This is the truth here, they will likely be able to easily get a new job with much higher pay.
     
  14. netovsk

    netovsk GBAtemp Advanced Fan

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    Don't think Blizzard is planning new IPs anytime soon (maybe they'll come with a battle royale of their own in a few years if the trend persists).

    As for Activision, not sure if they're planning anything other than milking call of duty (which development is outsourced if I'm not mistaken) and crash bandicoot franchises.

    Makes sense.
     
  15. the_randomizer

    the_randomizer The Temp's official fox whisperer

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    Proof that mergers typically end up sucking royally.
     
  16. Fugelmir

    Fugelmir GBAtemp Regular

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    Heroes of the Storm Remastered with KOTOR DLC
     
  17. Maximilious

    Maximilious *whistles his distinct tune*

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    Happy to say I contributed to those declining micro-transactions. Fuck Activision and what they've done to Blizzard. I've boycotted them along with EA - Always vote with your wallet! On to greener pastures (and better developers).
     
  18. I pwned U!

    I pwned U! GBAtemp Advanced Fan

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    I have been hearing about this on local radio station business reports lately, but the guy keeps calling it "Activation" Blizzaard.
     
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  19. IncredulousP

    IncredulousP Advanced Member

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    Important distinction: Blizzard is not firing employees, they are laying off employees. Those employees will receive unemployment until their next jobs (or the unemployment time limit), and won't have their work record tainted with a firing.
     
  20. Xzi

    Xzi Virtual Bartman

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    I suppose in a way that's nice of them, but really the employees shouldn't be getting fired at all. The people at the top should be taking pay cuts and re-thinking the shitty direction they've been taking the company in recently. Instead they'll just release some low-level employees and remain entirely tone-deaf to their own fan base.
     
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