Activision-Blizzard held their fourth quarter and 2018 financial earnings call today. In it they boosted record financial results while announcing layoffs. For the quarter ending December 31, 2018 the company saw a record new revenue of $2.38 billion. For the year the net revenue was a record $7.50 billion.
While our financial results for 2018 were the best in our history, we didn’t realize our full potential.
Bobby Kotick, Chief Executive Officer of Activision Blizzard
However, layoffs were on the way in an effort to reorganize in pursuit of the development plans and other priorities going forward in a message to the community from Blizzard Entertainment President J. Allen Brack.
Over the past few months, I’ve met with many people throughout Blizzard, talking about how we create our future. One thing that remains constant: we are committed to creating epic games and entertainment experiences.
Our development pipeline is strong, and we have the largest lineup of games that we’ve ever had. At the same time, Blizzard tries to have a level of craftsmanship and excellence in all that we do. Maintaining those standards as we continue expanding these worlds takes both time and talented developers.
With that in mind, we have plans to add to game development. We are dedicated to bringing you more content across existing game franchises and bringing our unannounced projects to life. Esports and the Overwatch League are also important priorities, and we will continue to produce great competitive content.
To better support these priorities, we need to reorganize some of our non-development teams. As a result, we will be reducing the number of non-development positions in North America and anticipate a related process in our regional offices over the coming months subject to local requirements. This was an extremely difficult decision, and we want to acknowledge the effort of everyone who has contributed to Blizzard. To assist with the transition, we are offering each impacted employee a severance package that includes additional pay, benefits continuation, and career and recruiting support to help them find their next opportunity. These people are members of the Blizzard family—they’ve cared deeply and contributed greatly to our work here and we are extremely grateful for all they’ve done.
As difficult as some of these organizational changes are, I am confident in Blizzard’s future and we will continue working hard to live up to not only our mission, but your expectations. We look forward to sharing everything with you when it’s ready.
J. Allen Brack, Blizzard Entertainment President
Of those caught in the layoff wave that are known so far include US CM Ythisens and EU CM Aerythlea.
Additionally several other people who worked in various areas at Activision-Blizzard have been a part of the layoff wave. Those known include: Jessie Lawrence an Overwatch CM, Jesse J. Hill NA CM for Hearthstone, Alex Ackerman Social Media Professional, Lindsay Stanley who worked Blizzard events/marketing/production, Josh Wittge Associate PR Manager, Yannick LeJacq a writer, Robert Taylor who worked in PR, Mike the IT Guy, Nicole Blalock of Hearthstone Esports, and Christina who also worked with Hearthstone Esports.
Many more are expected to be a part of the 8% of the staff eliminations from the earnings call. With roughly 9,600 employees about 800 staff are expected to lose their jobs. The layoffs have affected Activision publishing, Blizzard, King, and some of Activision’s studios. So far the layoffs at Blizzard have been seen in non-development departments.
The layoffs come after months of rumored layoffs when a mandate surfaced to cut costs in 2018.