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Activision lays off 30 as it scales back licensed games

By James Brightman

Activision lays off 30 as it scales back licensed games

Tue 19 Feb 2013 9:38pm GMT / 4:38pm EST / 1:38pm PST

There were also a few cuts at Black Ops II studio Treyarch

Activision Blizzard

Headquartered in Santa Monica, California, Activision Blizzard, Inc. is a worldwide pure-play online...


Activision produced record sales in 2012 and the mega publisher just pulled back the curtain on its first game with Bungie, but that doesn't mean it's not looking to continue streamlining its business. Today, the publisher confirmed with Kotaku that it's unfortunately laid off about 30 staff from its global workforce.

Activision blamed the cuts on the licensed games sector, an area of the market that the publisher wishes to scale back its involvement in considerably.

"Like any successful business, Activision Publishing consistently works to align its costs with its revenues-this is an ongoing process. In 2013, we expect to release fewer games based on license properties and as a result are realigning our structure to better reflect the market opportunities and our slate," the company explained.

"Approximately, 30 full-time employees have been impacted globally, which represents approximately one half of one percent of Activision Blizzard's employee population. We are offering those employees who are impacted outplacement counseling services."

Activision wouldn't address the status of its various licensed games, which have included the likes of James Bond, Transformers, Cabela and Spider-Man in recent years. In addition, the publisher is putting out a new Walking Dead game (not to be confused with Telltale's episodic series), a Deadpool game, and a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles title. It's unclear how the publishing slate is changing exactly, but there's a good chance that Activision may cease making Bond games.

Kotaku's source had originally pointed to layoffs at Treyarch, but that's not where most of the cuts are coming from. That said, the Black Ops studio was affected slightly. "Now that we have launched Black Op II, we are taking a minimal reduction in staff to better align our development talent against the needs of DLC development. The release of the DLC will not be impacted by this move," an Activision rep clarified.

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Alex Bunch Proof Reader, ZiCorp Studios

103 145 1.4
'We are offering those employees who are impacted outplacement counseling services.' Wow, how insulting can you get.
ie. 'We have sacked you but it's ok it. Really is in your best interests honestly.'

Posted:3 years ago


Todd Weidner Founder, Big Daddy Game Studio

527 1,327 2.5
gotta love corps, Record sales, who cares who can we fire? You really think a family run business would fire some of their staff after a record sales year? Friedman was a complete idiot. Ethics, morals and empathy do have a place in business.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Todd Weidner on 20th February 2013 2:52am

Posted:3 years ago


John Donnelly Quality Assurance

313 38 0.1
Actually its very helpful and shows the company has come compassion when cutting jobs.
The roles are being cut for business reasions not personal but the employees effected will get as part of a package help like Tom said above.

I had this happen to me and within 48 hours I had a fully updated and poished CV ready to start using for job applications which was very helpful.

Dont knock a company for trying to help the staff they let go as many companies dont even bother.

Posted:3 years ago


Nick Parker Consultant

362 261 0.7
Although lay-offs are not good news for those involved, 30 staff on a global basis is a drop in the ocean for Activision. This is a well run company and finally investors are starting to recognise this if you consider the recent share price climb. I'm never sure where people are coming from when they criticise corporations just for being corporations; it can seem more emotionally subjective rather than impartial and well thought through criticism. We are a tightly knit industry so we feel the pain together but this can also lead to instant distain for the wealthier members.

Posted:3 years ago


Bruce Everiss Marketing Consultant

1,692 595 0.4
Our industry is slowly growing up.
Which means owning our own brands, instead of creating games as part of the merchandise for film (or whatever) brands.

Posted:3 years ago


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