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Old 02-13-2019, 06:55 AM   #1
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Activision Posts Record Profits - Fires 800 People


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Activision Blizzard is laying off approximately 775 people — 8% of its 9,600-person staff — as it refocuses its efforts on its Call of Duty, Candy Crush, Overwatch, Warcraft, Hearthstone and Diablo franchises.

Activision called the move a de-prioritizing of initiatives that didn’t meet expectations. CEO Bobby Kotick said that the cuts would come from support staff while the company consolidates its commercial operations and reorganizes its marketing initiatives. Activision will be instead investing more in live services, Battle.net, eSports, and advertising efforts.

The company added it would be increasing development resources by 20 percent in 2019 on those franchises it is now focusing on. “The company will fund this greater investment by de-prioritizing initiatives that are not meeting expectations and reducing certain non-development and administrative-related costs across the business,” the publisher said in its earnings release.”

“While our financial results for 2018 were the best in our history, we didn’t realize our full potential,” Bobby Kotick, Chief Executive Officer of Activision Blizzard said in an earnings report statement. “To help us reach our full potential, we have made a number of important leadership changes. These changes should enable us to achieve the many opportunities our industry affords us, especially with our powerful owned franchises, our strong commercial capabilities, our direct digital connections to hundreds of millions of players, and our extraordinarily talented employees.”

Net revenue for the quarter was $2.38 billion, beating outlook of $2.24 billion. Net income for the year was $1.8 billion compared to $273 million for 2017. Activision exceeded last year’s net revenue with $7.5 billion against $7.02 billion in 2017.
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Old 02-13-2019, 07:03 AM   #2
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Gotta love record profits followed by layoffs. Happened in my place just recently too.
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Old 02-13-2019, 08:28 AM   #3
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While the end of year financials were better than last year, they should have been even better then that. Activision quarterly income is actually trending downward (with the exception of Q4 and the Christmas bump). Their forecast for 2019 looks to be lower than 2018.

I'm no accountant, but it sounds to me like the ship is starting to list a bit so they are taking action.
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Old 02-13-2019, 11:35 AM   #4
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Sounds silly on the surface but makes sense if you dig a little deeper than the headline.
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Old 02-13-2019, 05:09 PM   #5
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It is awkward I had a recruiter for one of their studios reach out to me after the layoffs were announced and several people I know were impacted.

It is tacky; I feel like their recruitment should be shut down to external people for at least a few weeks while they see if anyone they are getting rid of can fill any of these positions. It is a big company and lots of people, I doubt everyone is an under performer.
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Old 02-13-2019, 05:14 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by PacerDawn View Post
I'm no accountant, but it sounds to me like the ship is starting to list a bit so they are taking action.
You are also looking at numbers which are just not sustainable. You are talking about half of their profit coming from microtransactions, and we are seeing people either increasingly no longer interested in paying for additional shit on top of the retail value of the product, or going to free to play only titles and spending less on microtransactions.

To me, this is less of a ship that is listing, and more a ship that is actually traveling in the right direction after the favorable trade-winds have died down.
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Old 02-13-2019, 05:19 PM   #7
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Or a more apt analogy would be a pirate ship kills off half the crew so that the share of the loot is higher.
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Old 02-13-2019, 06:13 PM   #8
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From what I gathered they laid off hundreds of useless "diversity hires" who weren't pulling their weight or directly contributing to game development in any way. Right now there's 150 new openings for actual developers.
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Old 02-13-2019, 06:38 PM   #9
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I'm pretty sure SJWs and leftists are responsible for the bad part here. They're taking all the rights. Trump will drain the swamp.
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Old 02-13-2019, 08:35 PM   #10
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I'm pretty sure SJWs and leftists are responsible for the bad part here. They're taking all the rights. Trump will drain the swamp.
Really? You're doing this thing in every thread? You need to have a bit of a thicker skin around here my friend.
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Old 02-13-2019, 09:07 PM   #11
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I'm pretty sure SJWs and leftists are responsible for the bad part here. They're taking all the rights. Trump will drain the swamp.
TDS is a sad, often incurable, intellectual affliction. I wish you well.
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Old 02-13-2019, 09:33 PM   #12
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Really? You're doing this thing in every thread? You need to have a bit of a thicker skin around here my friend.
He has context, here, because Mad Max RW is basically saying that the layoffs are from "diversity hires" and not the real talent (which they are increasing by another 20% for Call of Duty, for example). So the SJW angle works.
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Old 02-13-2019, 09:57 PM   #13
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From what I gathered they laid off hundreds of useless "diversity hires" who weren't pulling their weight or directly contributing to game development in any way. Right now there's 150 new openings for actual developers.
Don’t forget that Bungie is shuttering Heroes of the Storm, Activision is no longer supporting Bungie and they closed at least one mobile studio. It’s a bad time not to be on the A Team.
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Old 02-14-2019, 04:55 AM   #14
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I've often wondered who is a worse company; Activision or EA. For awhile it seemed like EA. But who knows. They both make some games that are good, because they have good developers. But they both also are shitbag overlords. So I usually just support individual devs that I like. Don't want to punish devs for corporate overlords. But I still do it reluctantly.
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Old 02-14-2019, 08:08 AM   #15
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Don’t forget that Bungie is shuttering Heroes of the Storm, Activision is no longer supporting Bungie and they closed at least one mobile studio. It’s a bad time not to be on the A Team.
Did you mean Blizzard?
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Old 02-14-2019, 08:09 AM   #16
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From what I gathered they laid off hundreds of useless "diversity hires" who weren't pulling their weight or directly contributing to game development in any way. Right now there's 150 new openings for actual developers.
So from what you gathered.. as in did you read anything about this "diversity hires" bit.. or are you just projecting?

From what I read, they said it was non-essential support staff.. not dev teams.. which could mean anything from the PR teams, the QA teams etc.,
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Old 02-14-2019, 08:37 AM   #17
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I know it’s only a drop in the bucket to the several hundred, but of the couple dozen active Twitter accounts for the newly laid off every single one embraces the stereotypical social justice role and none has video game development experience in any way beyond community stuff and QA. I don’t have the time or care enough to dig past what is essentially face value. Perhaps they should learn to code and reapply at their old company.

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Old 02-14-2019, 09:31 AM   #18
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Right now there's 150 new openings for actual developers.
Part of this let go was increasing development budgets by 20% and emphasizing development teams. This story reeks of a biased narrative to make Activision Blizzard look bad. I don't like Kotick but more facts makes this seem more reasonable for them to do.

Sorry for any support staff that was hired for games which no longer need support.
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Old 02-14-2019, 04:13 PM   #19
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I know they took huge chunks out of the eSports teams. Overwatch and, obviously, HotS and Hearthstone competitive leagues aren’t really bringing in the numbers and dollars they wanted.

Some companies went tens of millions of dollars (hundreds of millions?) deep trying to make eSports a thing the last few years (wonder how much was spent on the Arena?) trying to make it a legit self-sustaining thing in America like Football, Baseball, and Basketball but it doesn’t look like now is the time.

At least not for most games that aren’t League of Legends or DOTA or maybe Counter Strike.
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Old 02-14-2019, 04:38 PM   #20
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I'm pretty sure SJWs and leftists are responsible for the bad part here. They're taking all the rights. Trump will drain the swamp.
Na, SJW and leftist are just responsible for all my local pools being closed down. Chuck E cheese is a dump to now.

Thanks a bunch, killer. Some of us didn't want to move 3 more ramps down the freeway and were happy where we were.

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From what I gathered they laid off hundreds of useless "diversity hires" who weren't pulling their weight or directly contributing to game development in any way. Right now there's 150 new openings for actual developers.
I cant member the bill or what happened, but apparently the Trump admin is now requiring companies to show a real effort to hire Americans before bringing in immigrants. The rules are so strict that its now just easier to just hire Americans. These rules are also retroactive to those already hired. Maybe that's whats happening here.

Yeah man. Good news. Unless your an immigrant. Just go on, help fix your country, they need you.
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