More Details on the Imminent Blizzard Layoffs

Back in February, Blizzard announced that over 600 employees were being let go. Today’s Orange County Register has more details about those soon to be ex-employees, (April 28th is their last day) and lists numbers on the 200 or so who are being let go from Blizzard’s Irvine headquarters.

A third of the 600 layoffs announced by video game maker Blizzard Entertainment Inc. will be at its headquarters in Irvine, according to a notice filed with the state.

In-game service reps will be the hardest hit, with about 85 slated for layoff.

An additional 52 people will be cut in account and technical services. The remainder includes a variety of artists, technicians, systems administrators and support staff.

…Even as the company goes through layoffs, Blizzard continues to hire for other positions. Blizzard’s careers website currently lists 114 jobs openings in Irvine.

When the layoffs were announced in February, Blizzard said about 10 percent of the cuts would be in areas directly related to game development. Blizzard, however, said the team that supports “World of Warcraft,” the company’s most popular game, would not be affected.

There’s no word yet on how many of those people were working on Diablo III, but it’s (sadly) routine in the game industry to sack a good number of the people who worked on a title, just as soon as the rush to release is finished. You’d think this would be less of an issue for Diablo III, with all their plans for expansions and patches and a console version, though.

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16 thoughts on “More Details on the Imminent Blizzard Layoffs

  1. I can’t imagine getting your “dream job”, moving out there, then getting shit-canned, and left high and dry.  The real world often sucks.

    • They at least got a heads-up, unlike Activision’s usual. They’ve known who was going to be cut and who wasn’t for quite a long time now, so that gave them time to prepare, and the severance packages are (supposedly) pretty good.

    • That it is. It reminds me of the film industry in a way. One of my friends, who is a director’s assistant is constantly “unemployed” because she just got done working on a movie, never mind that she’s union, and has several projects coming to her in the future. =/
      I think if you’ve been working with Blizzard, it won’t be hard finding another job. You could basically just walk-in and throw the Diablo 3 box at them, unless they’re a Diablo 2/PoE fan, of course. Even for those who “only” did customer service, I mean, it’s Blizzard…

  2. I bet it sucks for their superior to let them go too…. but as mentioned this is business and it’s something that has to be done 🙁

  3. Soon the superior will get sacked.  Middle management is a chess game where you always start without your queen.  Cheers

  4. The REAL Blizzard employees were already fired long ago. Kicking those “fillers” from Blizzard won’t affect negatively the company, at least not more negatively than it did in the past. Oh Blizzard North, how I miss you!! <3

  5. I made an account just to make this comment:
    they fired artists? when world of warcraft reuses basically every weapon and armor graphic more than twice? I haven’t played the game in years, actually, but I’m assuming it’s no better than it used to be. I always found it to be funny that an mmo can offer a “premium” service, yet at the end of the day, when you break everything down, the polish and whatever would make a game truly “premium” isn’t even actually there. even epic’s reused graphics, which to me is just terrible. I’m not a game designer, but I don’t see how hard it could be with a team of people to come up with different designs for the items. there is no reason for every single item to not look different. they certainly have the resources and the time.

    • Well djeez, this was totally not Activision style management. Not at all. Nope.
      When you can’t raise the profit bar anymore the only way to gain even more $$ is to make the same product with fewer costs, as in people. I highly doubt we will ever see the same quality products from Blizz from now on. 

  6. Yes once again, Blizzard products are not raking in millions upon milions anymore. So the next best thing is to lay off more people. 🙄

  7. Lol, this will only encourage developers to slow down their rate of progress knowing what lies ahead. Hell, might as well just jump ship just when the company needs you the most. Its just business.

  8. Hard times ahead and it will not go any better.

    I entered the Diablo 3 beta yesterday and as a WOW player I can safely say that D3 will not break stellar records.

    Sad but true. I find it a good game, just not super fantastic.

    And I doubt I would ever buy me some gear with hard cash. The Beta changed my mind completely: D3 will not deliver an extra gold mine for Blizzard.

    The problem is that it’s a solo game mostly and who cares what gear I have if no one can show it off in a central city hub …

    Also it is not because D2 was once a hot game with a great gear chase model that it will work these days.

    WOW spoiled us all and I am afraid D3 is just far too limited to keep us playing it for longer than 2-3 months.

    Blizzard post WoW could be in trouble, more than anyone thinks at the moment.   

    Only if they could add a hardcore/casual PvP element to it, I see D3 on the same playing levels as SC2.

    Meaning : 500K long term players investing the minimum of cash in it.

    I think Jeff Kaplan will have a very difficult time with Titan, as everything depends on that title in the future. WOW is still a good long term value, but things just don’t look so bright anymore for Blizzard.


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