We now know how many Blizzard employees are being affected by layoffs at Activision-Blizzard. 209 employees at Blizzard, largely in the IT and marketing departments, are being laid off. The total number of Blizzard layoffs was determined through a filing in California.
PC Games Insider obtained a copy of the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) filing submitted by Blizzard on February 12. The filing detailed exactly how many employees were being laid off, and from which departments. Of the 209 employees laid off, 41 were in IT departments at Blizzard offices in the US. Marketing departments at Blizzard’s Irvine, California and Austin, Texas lost 29 employees combined. These numbers fall in line with earlier reports that the Activision-Blizzard layoffs were largely focused on support departments.
Blizzard layoffs hit 18 employees in Human Resources, and 15 in the Global Insights department. The rest of the laid-off employees come from publishing, finance, web, mobile, and commercial departments. No cuts were made to Blizzard’s development staff as Activision-Blizzard is attempting to trim fat while publishing more games.
These layoffs come after 100 employees at Blizzard’s Cork, Ireland office accepted contract buyouts in December 2018. The voluntary leave program offered employees money to leave their positions with the company and had been offered a number of times in the past. There are concerns that the contract buyouts could affect services. All-told, over 300 employees have left Blizzard as a result of layoffs and contract buyouts.
The 209 Blizzard positions detailed in the WARN filing are only part of the roughly 800 jobs being eliminated by Activision-Blizzard. The company announced it would be restructuring and cutting 8 percent of its workforce during an earnings call on February 12. Activision-Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick announced the restructuring after missing earnings expectations, even if it was a “record year” for the company.
Activision-Blizzard’s SEC filing from February said that the mass layoffs could negatively impact their business, and make it difficult to retain talent. Glen Schofield, Sledgehammer co-founder and lead designer on several Call of Duty games, leaving Activision in December could be a sign of things to come at the publisher.