Activision "Realigns" With Layoffs and New Focus

Activision "Realigns" With Layoffs and New Focus

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About 30 employees got the cut in Activision's latest restructuring.

Activision Publishing has a bad case of the layoffs. The publisher recently confirmed that about 30 workers have been let go from studios around the world. An official statement explains that this downsizing is part of the publisher's continuing plans to reduce its focus on licensed games.

"Like any successful business, Activision Publishing consistently works to align its costs with its revenues," an Activision representative told Kotaku. "This is an ongoing process. In 2013, we expect to release fewer games based on license properties and as a result are realigning our structure to better reflect the market opportunities and our slate. Approximately, 30 full-time employees have been impacted globally, which represents approximately one half of one percent of Activision Blizzard's employee population. We are offering those employees who are impacted outplacement counseling services."

Activision does have a significant roster of licensed game franchises at its disposal. Transformers, Spider-Man, and James Bond are just a few of the series that may be downplayed in the coming year. On the other hand, Activision is picking up The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct, Deadpool, and a trilogy of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles games, so at least a handful of licenses are still on the menu.

Initial reports implied that Treyarch, developers of Call of Duty: Black Ops II, would be shouldering the brunt of the layoffs. However, an Activision spokesperson clarified that many of the jobs being cut are coming from different branches of the company, primarily those concerning licensed games. Treyarch is still receiving a "minimal reduction in staff," though the spokesperson assures that it won't affect the studio's upcoming DLC releases.

Activision's estimate of 0.5% does seem small, but that does account for Blizzard's hordes of peons who are less concerned with licensed games. In addition, the official statement may seem a bit familiar: Activision issued a very similar statement last October when it cut another 30 jobs from its Minneapolis office. Those jobs were all from the "publishing level," so the studios that make the actual games shouldn't be hurting too badly, but the numbers are starting to add up for the publishing giant.

Source: Kotaku

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I hope they don't kill the Transformers series, they are the only good thing about them since Micheal Bay got hold of it.

Honestly there are very few licensed games I've actually enjoyed (mostly from last gen, like the Lord of the Rings games, which were incredible), so apart from sympathy for those who lost their jobs, this doesn't upset me.

I think Activision axed the entire James Bond division. I remember that from an earlier article I think. So they might hold the license, but they sure as fuck ain't releasing another turd like that.

Oh "full time" guess at least they weren't testers then.

Cognimancer:
Treyarch is still receiving a "minimal reduction in staff,"

Make $1 billion for the company.
Get fired.

Yay capitalism!

Didn't Activision do really well last year? I understand they don't expect future revenue to be as high so costs must be shed, but to lay off people after a successful year is just slimy to me.

At this rate, even with CoD fucking the masses out their dollars (or equivalent thereof), they're gonna implode simply because they'll have no people left to make their games.

karma9308:
Didn't Activision do really well last year? I understand they don't expect future revenue to be as high so costs must be shed, but to lay off people after a successful year is just slimy to me.

I've heard mixed things. The bottom line seems to be that while Activision made money, but it fell short of projections. WoW lost a bunch of subscribers and is losing more every day, and that, combined with the very mixed reviews of "Pandaria" and how it didn't bring back the screaming hordes quite the way they wanted probably hurt their bottom line. Activision isn't the kind of person to simply take less profits than they wanted laying down, and is probably laying people off to pick up some of the slack. I wouldn't be surprised if a lot of it is corperate venting, and Blizzard isn't being hit because it's still one of their biggest money makers, and also has Project Titan on the horizon which is presumed to be a big deal. Of course I'm half expecting it to fail since some early theorizing was that it was going to be Blizzard/Activision's version of "Planetside" and it doesn't seem like "Planetside 2" is exactly performing quite as well as SoE had hoped.

Just to play the Devils advocate here but; how many people have Activision hired lately? Hmm doesn't say.

If it's none, then it's still a VERY low number of lost employees by any multi billion dollar companies standards.

My only hope is that they aren't planning to cut out Treyarch's brains and make them churn out Black Ops 2.1 next year. Because Treyarch are actually doing a relatively good job with the Call of Duty franchise.

they probably did this so they won't end up like THQ

karma9308:
Didn't Activision do really well last year? I understand they don't expect future revenue to be as high so costs must be shed, but to lay off people after a successful year is just slimy to me.

Just because you make a lot of money does not mean you have to keep people on staff when you dont have work for them. They are cutting down on the licensed games which often dont do very well. Large companies hire and let go employees all the time and it is a normal part of a changing business. Department sizes and needs change with the advancement of technology.

karma9308:
Didn't Activision do really well last year? I understand they don't expect future revenue to be as high so costs must be shed, but to lay off people after a successful year is just slimy to me.

Even if youre a multi billion dollar corporation its still generally a bad idea to let redundant workers pile up.

And while Activision had a successful year, it was not as successful as they hoped. WoW is starting to die and Mists of Panderia failed to catalyse the influx of new and returning players that the previous expansions did.

On the bad side of things, it always sucks to see workers get laid off, but hopefully this "realignment" means activision doing something better with their "more money than god" funding.

Or they're shovelling yet more cash solely into COD...

Treyarch'll be fine, as it's Infinity Ward's turn to do a CoD game this year, and they'll just hire more staff for Treyarch when it's their turn in 2014. That's pretty much what it means to me, that and Activision sitting on even more IP than usual so they're more reliant on their known sellers paying the bills, so taking even fewer risks than before. Which is a bit of a bugger, but there you go.

That just shows you how bad Activision are as a company. They don't respect their customers let alone their staff. I mean Blackops 2 made over 1 billion dollars and they cut their budgets in every corner its pretty fucking sad go to hell Activision Blizzard you are the Devil's prodigy.

"Activision's estimate of 0.5% does seem small, but that does account for Blizzard's hordes of peons who are less concerned with licensed games."
Half of a percent of what? Am I an idiot? Went through twice trying to figure out what you're talking about here.
Aha, employee pop. I am an idiot

As long as Activision keep with Transformers I can remain happy and content.

Looks like they're finally responding to the stock market vultures. They've been on the "This companies going to have a massive revenue contraction in the next year or so" for a while. They can say whatever spin it is they want. The reason is far simpler than how they've spun it. World of Warcraft and Call of Duty make up far too much of Activision/Blizzards revenue. Those two franchise make too much money, and can lay only so many golden eggs. The odds that they get 1 new golden goose let a lone two golden geese is just too much to ask for. They've held off as long as they could, but these layoffs suggest they have no faith in being able to supplant the revenue any time soon.

 

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