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May 22, 2019
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209 were laid off from Blizzard as part of earlier Activision Blizzard cuts

209 were laid off from Blizzard as part of earlier Activision Blizzard cuts

March 8, 2019 | By Alissa McAloon

Last month’s massive layoffs at Activision Blizzard left an estimated 800 employees without a job, and a document spotted by PCGamesInsider has information on how those layoffs were felt at Overwatch developer Blizzard. 

According to a Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) filing spotted by the publication, 209 Blizzard employees were let go as a result of Activision Blizzard’s layoff wave. It’s a sobering look at which specific roles were affected and which departments were deemed to have redundancies after Blizzard parent Activision Blizzard clocked a record year.

On a department by department basis, IT was hit hardest by the cuts with 41 people laid off across all of Blizzard’s locations in the United States. Following after that, marketing saw a loss of 29 staff members between Blizzard’s Irvine, California and Austin, Texas offices. The live experiences teams in Irvine, Burbank, and Austin also saw 29 people laid off as well. HR saw 18 people let go, global insights saw 15 staff laid off, North American publishing lost 12 people, QA lost 11 staff, Latin America publishing was cut by 10 positions, the web and mobile team lost 9 people, and the finance and commercial teams lost 8 staff. 

The WARN finding also mentions layoffs related to Activision, including 7 people laid off from Activision Publishing and Blizzard’s consumer products team, 5 laid off from the team, and the facilities department laying off 3 staff members.

This doesn’t include the 100 Blizzard support staff that were offered a cash offer of a year’s pay to walk away from their jobs at Blizzard Entertainment’s Cork office two months before parent company Activision Blizzard announced the layoffs.

As PCGamesInsider points out, the current tally of known cuts hasn’t yet met the estimate of 800 affected developers. Including closures like King’s Z2Live studio and San Francisco office, around 500 or so positions have been publicly cut from Activision Blizzard and its subsidiaries in the last month. 

In a statement sent to PCGamesInsider after it published the contents of the WARN filing, a Blizzard representative said the following:

“We are unable to provide additional details beyond what we’ve publicly disclosed. While the changes were difficult, they were important for supporting our current game-development priorities, which will serve as the foundation for Blizzard’s future. This will ultimately put us in the best position to create epic, high-quality content and entertainment experiences for our players around the world.”

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