Report: More Layoffs Loom As Activision Blizzard Moves To Close European Publishing Offices

Activision’s office in Madrid, Spain.
Activision’s office in Madrid, Spain.
Photo: Activision Blizzard

Activision Blizzard is planning to close its publishing offices in Europe and lay off even more employees in the process, according to a new report by GamesIndustry.biz.

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In a statement provided to GamesIndustry.biz, an Activision Blizzard rep explained that the move comes as a result of players “increasingly choosing to connect with our games digitally.”

“We have shared plans with our teams in Europe for how we would evolve as an organization, adapting to this change to serve our players and best positioning the region for future growth,” the statement continues. “We will be taking extensive steps to support all employees and ease the transition for those of our colleagues who might be impacted by these proposed changes.”

This is the latest of several rounds of layoffs impacting Activision Blizzard staff over the last two years. In February 2019, the publisher announced it would be reducing its workforce by 8%, or an estimated 800 people. Later that year, restructuring saw the loss of over 200 more jobs. In 2020, the corporation closed its offices in Versailles, France, and then earlier this week made drastic cuts to its esports staff.

This hasn’t stopped executives from gloating about and personally benefiting from Activision Blizzard’s recent growth, even as employees protested pay inequality. CEO Bobby Kotick is even slated to receive a $200 million bonus for the publisher’s performance throughout the pandemic, while the workers who are actually to thank for Activision Blizzard’s success are discarded with $200 Battle.net gift cards.

As is often the case, these and previous layoffs weren’t necessary. Activision Blizzard leadership could have easily taken pay cuts or, at the very least, declined bonuses in favor of contributing to the paychecks of these now-jobless workers. But in the unrelenting mill of capitalism, CEOs and their ilk are always the ones turning the wheel, happy to let hundreds and thousands of people suffer as grist if it means they get their bread.

Staff Writer, Kotaku

DISCUSSION

As is often the case, these and previous layoffs weren’t necessary. Activision Blizzard leadership could have easily taken pay cuts or, at the very least, declined bonuses in favor of contributing to the paychecks of these now-jobless workers.

I don’t support the executive and 200 MM is an absurd bonus by any metric for any industry, but to say the layoffs are unnecessary isn’t correct. If a company is pivoting the way it operates, certain roles may become unnecessary.

A better solution would be to take some of that $200MM in bonus money and give the redundant staff a generous severance, health insurance, and job placement support until they can find something new.