Activision Blizzard lays off about 50 workers, citing COVID-19’s effects on its esports leagues
Activision Blizzard on Tuesday mentioned it was laying off about 50 individuals throughout varied divisions dealing predominantly with reside occasions and esports as a part of a restructuring. The corporate cites the COVID-19 pandemic’s effects on each the viability of reside productions for its esports leagues and the altering viewership habits of its core viewers over the previous yr.
“Gamers are more and more selecting to attach with our video games digitally and the e-sports crew, very similar to conventional sports activities, leisure, and broadcasting industries, has needed to adapt its enterprise because of the affect the pandemic has had on reside occasions,” an Activision Blizzard spokesperson instructed Bloomberg in a press release.
In line with Bloomberg, laid-off workers will obtain three months’ severance, well being advantages for the subsequent 12 months, and $200 reward card to Activision Blizzard’s Battle.web PC platform. The layoffs additionally embody some workers at Activision-owned cellular agency King, the maker of Sweet Crush.
Activision Blizzard operates two huge esports leagues for 2 of its hottest franchises, Blizzard’s crew shooter Overwatch and Activision’s Name of Responsibility collection. Each leagues had world, travel-oriented productions deliberate for 2020 previous to the pandemic, and each needed to shift just about each a part of the operation to online-only manufacturing and distant competitors.
“We realized lots final yr when it comes to how the leagues will be structured for on-line play, and we’ll look to hold ahead the perfect practices from that,” Tony Petitti, Activision Blizzard’s president of sports activities and leisure, instructed Sports activities Enterprise Journal in an interview. “When it comes to timing, it’s a response to the realities of how the leagues are enjoying and what sources we have to allocate to greatest serve the league, house owners, groups and followers.” Petitti says the corporate is nonetheless “actually optimistic” that its esports enterprise can develop with a brand new focus on on-line manufacturing.
Whereas the corporate’s esports enterprise could have suffered through the pandemic, Activision Blizzard’s core enterprise is doing remarkably effectively. The corporate’s newest quarterly earnings report, launched final month, indicated document revenues for 2020 that smashed Wall Avenue expectations, thanks largely to the continued success of Name of Responsibility and its Warzone battle royale sport.
“In a yr crammed with adversity our extraordinary workers have been decided to offer connection and pleasure to our 400 million gamers all over the world,” Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick mentioned on the time. “They achieved this in addition to producing document monetary outcomes for our shareholders. Below troublesome circumstances, however with the identical conviction and focus, they’ll proceed to take action in 2021.”
Replace March sixteenth, 5:41PM ET: Added info concerning the $200 Battle.web reward card as a part of the laid off workers’ advantages.
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