Blizzard Axes 600 Employees, World of Warcraft Dev Team Not Affected

Blizzard, the development studio behind the Diablo, StarCraft, and Warcraft franchises, has laid off 600 employees, it said today in a press release.

Ninety percent of the cut staff were in departments unrelated to game development, the company said. Blizzard does not expect the news to affect upcoming games Diablo III, World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria, or StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm.

"In order to keep making epic game content while serving players effectively, we have to be smart about how we manage our resources," Blizzard CEO Mike Morhaime said in a statement on the official Blizzard forums. "This means we sometimes have to make difficult decisions about how to best maintain the health of the company. We're in the process of making some of those hard decisions now.

"We're continuing to develop, iterate, and polish Blizzard DOTA, Diablo III, StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm, World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria, as well as other, unannounced projects. We'll have exciting news to share in the coming weeks regarding Diablo III's release date, and will soon be holding a private media event to showcase the latest work on Mists of Pandaria. It goes without saying that we're working hard to get all of these games in your hands as soon as possible."

MESSAGE FROM MIKE MORHAIME [Blizzard — thanks, Phil!]