Today, Blizzard Entertainment announced the company will be cutting 600 positions globally. The majority, about 90%, of the layoffs will come from departments not related to game development. Although the global workforce is being reduced, none of Blizzard’s upcoming game projects are in jeopardy.
The CEO and cofounder of Blizzard, Mike Morhaime, stated,
“I also want to emphasize that we remain committed to shipping multiple games this year, and that our development teams in particular remain largely unaffected by today’s announcement. We’re continuing to develop, iterate, and polish Blizzard DOTA, Diablo III, StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm, World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria, as well as other, unannounced projects. We’ll have exciting news to share in the coming weeks regarding Diablo III’s release date, and will soon be holding a private media event to showcase the latest work on Mists of Pandaria. It goes without saying that we’re working hard to get all of these games in your hands as soon as possible.”
Also in his statement, Morhaime discussed the need for managing resources wisely in order to keep developing quality games as the main reason for the reduction of staff:
“In order to keep making epic game content while serving players effectively, we have to be smart about how we manage our resources. This means we sometimes have to make difficult decisions about how to best maintain the health of the company. We’re in the process of making some of those hard decisions now.
After evaluating our current organizational needs, we determined that while some areas of our business had been operating at the right levels and could benefit from further growth, other areas had become overstaffed. As a result, we need to scale down some of our departments and part with some of our colleagues and friends here at Blizzard. I know that you all understand how difficult this type of situation can be for anyone who might be affected, so I want to assure you that we’ll be offering each impacted employee a severance package and other benefits.”
Some might speculate that this is connected to WoW’s recent loss of subscribers, but the game development teams are basically staying intact, so this is probably a case of a business expanding other departments only to realize later that some positions were redundant. By keeping layoffs to the game development departments to a minimum, Blizzard signals that the company has confidence in their games and the people making them.
Source: WoW Insider