Call of Duty publisher Activision Blizzard to lay off hundreds of staff

Dwane Martin who started to queue at 4pm yesterday afternoon, heads a large group of computer game fans as they queue up to b
Dwane Martin who started to queue at 4pm yesterday afternoon, heads a large group of computer game fans as they queue up to buy the new 'Call of Duty: Black Ops' game, outside the Game store in Oxford Street, central London.

Call of Duty publisher Activision Blizzard has announced plans to cut its workforce by around 8%, despite achieving record revenue in 2018.

Around 770 people could lose their jobs with the American video gaming giant in an effort to reduce duplication across the business and refocus development on its most successful franchises, such as Overwatch and Warcraft.

“While we had record performance in 2018, it didn’t quite live up to our expectations,” chief executive Bobby Kotick said during a quarterly results call.

Xbox One
(Sean Dempsey/PA)

“We didn’t execute as well as we’d hoped to in 2018 and our current outlook for 2019 falls below what is possible in an industry filled with growth opportunities.

He added: “2019 will require significant change to enable us to achieve our long-term goals and objectives. We’re making changes to enable our development teams to create better content for our biggest franchises more quickly.”

Activision Blizzard is yet to confirm which areas of the business will be affected, but said it would mainly hit non-development roles.

Some employees have already taken to Twitter to say that they have been laid off by the company.

“Today was my last day at Blizzard Entertainment,” wrote Jennifer Mallett, who worked as an associate brand manager on Warcraft.

“I knew that layoffs are commonplace in the video game industry, but I somehow always thought that if I could work really hard, get the right education, and be an exceptional employee that they’d never happen to me. I was wrong.”

The firm employs more than 9,600 people in total, with offices located across the world, including mobile game maker King.

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