Blizzard Lays Off 600

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Blizzard Lays Off 600

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Blizzard Entertainment has announced that it will cut roughly 600 employees from its global workforce.

Following a "review of its business based on current organizational needs," Blizzard Entertainment has begun implementing cuts of approximately 600 employees from its rolls. The good news is that 90 percent of the layoffs will come from non-development departments, and the World of Warcraft team will not be touched. The bad news, obviously, is that 600 people are, or soon will be, out of work.

"Constant evaluation of teams and processes is necessary for the long-term health of any business. Over the last several years, we've grown our organization tremendously and made large investments in our infrastructure in order to better serve our global community," CEO Mike Morhaime said in a statement. "However, as Blizzard and the industry have evolved we've also had to make some difficult decisions in order to address the changing needs of our company."

Blizzard said that its current development schedule, which of course includes the still-undated Diablo 3, will not be affected by the cuts, and that it is in fact "still recruiting and looking to hire qualified developers for a number of open positions." But no matter how it's spun, 600 job losses in a company that employees less than 5000 has to hurt. We wish all the best to Blizzard employees affected by the cuts.

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Andy Chalk:
"Constant evaluation of teams and processes is necessary for the long-term health of any business. Over the last several years, we've grown our organization tremendously and made large investments in our infrastructure in order to better serve our global community," CEO Mike Morhaime said in a statement. "However, as Blizzard and the industry have evolved we've also had to make some difficult decisions in order to address the changing needs of our company."

I.E. Profits are down and I'm certainly not gunna take a wage cut.

They can never give a good excuse, can they? It's always the "Stuff changes, things happen, we fire people" card.

review of its business based on current organizational needs

Notice how whenever a corporation "review's its needs" the outcome is never lower executive compensation or increase employee benefits.

And I can almost guarantee you that nobody laid off was either a relative or friend of a board member or executive.

Could you image if they were honest?

Possible press conference from bizarro world:

We the owners decided that we wanted more lewt for ourselves. Our hooker and blow sessions weren't nearly as frequent as they should be so we decided to let go some peons and transfer the amount we were spending on them to us. How will they provide for their families? We don't care, not our problem. Their work will be distributed to our remaining peons because its not like they are going to quit in this economy. In conclusion, we're rich, fuck you.

Actually come to think of it that would be a breath of fresh air compared to the patent disingenuity of "reviewed our needs" doublespeak.

Translation: 2 million dead subscriptions = 600 dead jobs. you can fucking calculate it mathematically to a precision

they could be just trimming the fat, they probably expanded massively during the WOW years and no longer need that many staff.

rembrandtqeinstein:

review of its business based on current organizational needs

Notice how whenever a corporation "review's its needs" the outcome is never lower executive compensation or increase employee benefits.

And I can almost guarantee you that nobody laid off was either a relative or friend of a board member or executive.

Could you image if they were honest?

Possible press conference from bizarro world:

We the owners decided that we wanted more lewt for ourselves. Our hooker and blow sessions weren't nearly as frequent as they should be so we decided to let go some peons and transfer the amount we were spending on them to us. How will they provide for their families? We don't care, not our problem. Their work will be distributed to our remaining peons because its not like they are going to quit in this economy. In conclusion, we're rich, fuck you.

Actually come to think of it that would be a breath of fresh air compared to the patent disingenuity of "reviewed our needs" doublespeak.

ill respect an asshole if hes an asshole with balls. business is business, but you dont have to be a pussy and a weasel about it.

Over two million subscribers gone? ditch a much as we can to keep the airship afloat. NOT THE GOLD! NOT THE GOLD! throw some crew members over the edge instead.

Revenue increase US$4.447 billion (2010)

Job Cuts: 12%

Bastards.

I have a feeling this isn't the development part of Blizzard being cut on any level, rather this is something brought on by the declining subscriber base of WoW. Less subscribers, less maintenance needed to be done, less workers needed to perform that maintenance.

As for their excuse, it's the usual weaselly, sad rhetoric I've come to expect of these people.

Unfortunately, they can't loudly report on when they've hired a thousand extra people in a press release, if they've got shareholders, they're going to want to know why the expense.

I do agree tho, that all the time there's people earning six figure salaries, there shouldn't be people lower down the ladder losing their jobs.

I'm sure this was necessary. Blizzard only pulls in, what, $150million a month? No this is Kotek saying "Profits are down slightly, we need massive layoffs to balance it out. Now get me some more cocaine and a new jet."

The actual quote was "The World of Warcraft development team will not be impacted" rather than WoW "will not be touched".

The original wording has more wiggle room, and doesn't necessarily mean that the WoW development team didn't receive cuts. Think about it: 'Sure, we cut a lot of jobs from the WoW dev team, but I don't believe it'll impact development at all.'

Seeing as the reason for these cuts is most definitely to do with the fact that WoW subscriptions have plummeted about a fifth since Cataclysm launched, it'd be strange if WoW wasn't touched by this at all. Perhaps they're right in that WoW development wont be affected, maybe it'll just mean less customer support. But that was solid to begin with... right?

Anyhow, whether they did or did not cut back on the WoW dev team, the first thing they would rush to do is deny that it would impact current WoW subscribers, to reassure the customer base so as to not spur more fleeing. And since their phrasing didn't explicitly rule out cuts there...

i think these are not the first round of cuts. there was another chuck a while back including some major WoW developers like John Staats.

This is why I can't stand to be stuck in the same room with someone who's into business or marketing or whatever. Because they talk like this:

Andy Chalk:
"Constant evaluation of teams and processes is necessary for the long-term health of any business. Over the last several years, we've grown our organization tremendously and made large investments in our infrastructure in order to better serve our global community," CEO Mike Morhaime said in a statement. "However, as Blizzard and the industry have evolved we've also had to make some difficult decisions in order to address the changing needs of our company."

Ugh. Honestly, who talks like that besides them and maybe politicians? It's a bunch of sentences with random business lingo thrown in that tell you absolutely nothing. It's possibly the most generic set of sentences you could possibly come up with short of using words like "things" and "stuff". You could remove "Blizzard" and substitute the name of any other company on the planet and it'd fit just as well.

It's like they have a template in Microsoft Word that they use to come up with this stuff, or some kind of general purpose Businessman Press Release Generator with patented BullshitSpeak technology.

Death of WoW again, obviously.

This is where it can be taken a lot of different ways. And I never ever understand why companies use so much doublespeak and pointless blathering rather than just simply say what is going on? What they are affraid of spooking the investors? Just laying off %12 of the work force with no clear reason won't?

I have seen some reports that indicate that the majority of the cuts were in areas that had become somewhat redundant since the Activision merger. Sales, marketing, HR administration etc. While harsh for the person sitting in that chair, you can understand why companies make those sorts of cuts. If the people who handle your employee health insurance questions are now all sitting in Activisions HQ, why are you still paying a staff of 6 at the Blizz HQ to do the same thing? Etc. And yeah a drop of 2 million subscribers could easily trigger a round of evaluations about this sort of thing. "How much are we spending? How much do we need to be spending?" etc.

As well I wonder how much of it is from oddball branches of things? How many employee's does Blizzard have supporting it's WOW CCG? How many people are buying or playing that? Other one off WoW Diablo or Starcraft product lines that aren't core software? In todays economy they may be scaling those back.

Is there a previously unannounced Software product that might have ended up on the chopping block for whatever reason in the current environment? This wouldn't be the first time that Blizz did this. Anyone remember Starcraft Ghost?

Until more leaks out we just will not know what is really going on.

Damn, more unemployed.

When will people learn.

I hate to say it... But It's most likely Activision's fault... The very second those two partnered up. Blizzards business strategy seemed to went fucktarded.

They where up something like $44bln. Yet had a 12% job cut. Blizzard has, and never would of done that in my mind... It's all on those bastards at activision. I'm willing to put money on it.

This is extremely out of character for Blizzard. On top of that, what's happening to all their new titles coming up?

Misread as "Blizzard fires God".

Lulz were had.

Then I saw that the most uber-rich bozos in the business short of EA laid off 600 innocent workers, and I got pissed.

Yeah, now that WoW has entered it's f2p (mostly) stage, I can imagine that they're focusing on other areas of business. I'm not entirely surprised, sure, they're rich, but they can't just pay people to do nothing.

Hopefully they fired everyone in marketing. Not that I hate Blizzard's marketing specifically, I just hate all people who work in marketing. Yes, that includes you, slimy marketing people wot are reading this! You are scum who lie for a living!

I wish they would just come out and say the reason these cuts were made rather than beat around the bush.

Also recruiting for development....bolstering the Titan team?

I want to believe there's a good reason for the lay offs but there's a part of me that just feels sad as Blizzard absorbs more and more of Activision's business management decisions and nothing good about Blizzard rubs off unto Activision. It's like watching an accident happen in super super slow motion.

ResonanceSD:
Yeah, now that WoW has entered it's f2p (mostly) stage, I can imagine that they're focusing on other areas of business. I'm not entirely surprised, sure, they're rich, but they can't just pay people to do nothing.

Where is this F2P WoW? I'd love to know as you may have just saved me 8 a month!

Yeah it's not great they're laying off people, but we don't exactly live in the most economically stable time at the moment, it's probably got something to do with the availability of capital and where the company is investing that which it can borrow. It's also possible that with the growth of WoW Blizzard simply took on a large number of people more than it really needed as they suddenly found themselves with a large amount of surplus income. Still, must be horrible for those losing their jobs.

Blizzard makes one of the biggest games ever, business starts falling off some (comparatively speaking, don't send me numbers of how they're still making millions) and they have to fire people, and all of a sudden they're this evil empire. I don't get it.

This is very likely to be a result of there being too many people doing the same job. It happens ALL THE TIME in corporations. If you're all telling me that you would cut your own pay in order to keep employees that aren't essential to company success then I'm calling you a liar. I also love how people are assuming the executives are going to pocket the salaries of the people they're letting go. They may be setting up packages to better take care of the employees they're keeping. They may be rerouting some of the resources to other areas of the company. Unless you know the details behind it, you have know way of knowing that Blizzard is made up of money-grubbing bastards.

This is business. Business is often not kind to people. Yes it sucks that 600 people got laid off. I feel badly for them. Jobs are hard to come by. But that is simply how the world works people.

And Guy Jackson, I hope you're kidding.

The_root_of_all_evil:
Revenue increase US$4.447 billion (2010)

Job Cuts: 12%

Bastards.

Bastards? What're you talking about? Blizzard are the good guys! They're the paragon of the industry. The company that stands up for the little guys. Stands up for the community.

Or so I've been told. I've been lambasted by quite a few people on this forum for insinuating that Blizzard wasn't. For implying that most of their current actions and motives have been pure greed-based, sleazy business practices.

But then, someone calls me out on my statements and says I just hate Blizzard and will say anything to make them look bad. Like me pointing out that there was no way in hell Blizzard started the suit against Valve over the name Dota for purely altruistic motives. Motives, as the other posters and Blizzard indicated, that were meant to be in the best interest of the modding community.

Hmmm. I'm not sure what to make of this. I'm sure there are going to be plenty of people that interpret this as "WoW IS DYING OMG".

Of course with business talk that impenetrable it could mean anything. Man I wish I was fluent in speaking without actually saying anything.

And a mean part of me says: "Attention, please; will everyone who thought a 71-year-old martial artist/actor as spokesperson would help restore flagging WoW subscriptions, please come to a special meeting in conference room A..."

Part of me wants to blame Activision, of course, but that's reflex by now.

It does seem strange that with at least two big titles on the way, Blizzard would be shedding staff now. One would think that their profit forecasts would be looking pretty rosy. It may just be that no one really contemplated what a downturn in WoW profits would mean, and they allowed themselves to grow bigger than was efficient because of those mistaken expectations.

Still, it's a crummy time to lose your job in any case, and I wish those employees luck.

rembrandtqeinstein:

review of its business based on current organizational needs

Notice how whenever a corporation "review's its needs" the outcome is never lower executive compensation or increase employee benefits.

And I can almost guarantee you that nobody laid off was either a relative or friend of a board member or executive.

Could you image if they were honest?

Possible press conference from bizarro world:

We the owners decided that we wanted more lewt for ourselves. Our hooker and blow sessions weren't nearly as frequent as they should be so we decided to let go some peons and transfer the amount we were spending on them to us. How will they provide for their families? We don't care, not our problem. Their work will be distributed to our remaining peons because its not like they are going to quit in this economy. In conclusion, we're rich, fuck you.

Actually come to think of it that would be a breath of fresh air compared to the patent disingenuity of "reviewed our needs" doublespeak.

Reviewed our needs is basic business speech. It means that the company realized it didn't need as many workers as it has.

You basically need to think about the marginal value each worker adds. This value is constantly shifting in every company. When you have too many people, in this case 600 too many, you can't just keep paying them and losing money.

Morally it may seem bad to lay these people off, but if you keep them you're pouring millions down the drain each year which could end a company and leave everyone out of a job.

Its unfortunate that this site has so many people who will jump onto the Blizzard is evil bandwagon over a simple business fluctuation. "why don't they just make the executives get pay cuts?" Well I can see 3 pretty good reasons for this. 1 that would be like getting a blood injection every month because you have an open wound that won't heal. You're not fixing the problem just finding a way to ignore it. 2 executive wages in almost every business are competitive to the industry rates. Pay them less and they leave and your company goes under. Not many companies overpay their executives, since that would be stupid for the stockholders/owners. 3 a pay cut for a few individuals wouldn't come close to offsetting 600 jobs.

Damn I thought of this so fast, glad I found this. Ohh ya by the way, your cut.

I'm sorry for everyone that didn't make the cut. But thats business. If your not needed, your probably gona get cut.
I wish them luck in finding new work.

So, according to statistics, they're actually making MORE money, profits, and revenue... and yet they felt the need to lay of 12% of their staff?

... SOME CEO really wants his new limo and gold-plated toilet this year, doesn't he?

Lumber Barber:
They can never give a good excuse, can they? It's always the "Stuff changes, things happen, we fire people" card.

What better excuse is their? They're are a business, the only issue at all relevant is whether the benefits of keeping those people employed outweighs the costs. If not, that's it.

So if it isn't their development guys, are they laying off their cinematics team? Because that would be awful, those guys are some of the best I've ever seen.

Back in the day when wow was growing they needed more game masters etc. Now that need is dwindling alongside a userbase that dont require as much help.

600 workers globally is not that much given that they probably have offices across the world.

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