Activision Blizzard esports is restructuring its live events department which will cut down its workforce by 50 jobs, Jason Schreier revealed.
According to Bloomberg, employees across various support departments were told that they were no longer needed on Wednesday. The layoffs aren’t limited to the company’s esports and live events department but employees were also laid off at King, the developer of Candy Crush; the exact number hasn’t been confirmed. The report indicates that around 2% of the workforce was let go, or nearly 190 people.
The corporate shift and focus is the company’s post-pandemic strategy to reinvent itself, the layoffs – during an ongoing pandemic no less – comes a month after Activision Blizzard revealed “record revenues and upped dividends to shareholders”.
Just filed to Bloomberg Terminal: Blizzard is laying off 50 people today in its live events departments as it plans a strategy shift post-pandemic. This news arrives a month after Activision Blizzard once again announced record revenues and upped dividends to shareholders.
— Jason Schreier (@jasonschreier) March 16, 2021
One excuse the company gave for the sudden shift is the focus on digital games for its players and the shift for the league overall during the last 12 months of the pandemic.
“Players are increasingly choosing to connect with our games digitally and the esports team… has had to adapt its business due to the impact the pandemic has had on live events,” an Activision Blizzard spokesperson told Bloomberg.
Tony Petitti, a top executive at the company says the division that runs both the Overwatch and Call of Duty‘s respected leagues is planning a future where its future looks much different and less dependent on live events, according to The Esports Observer.
“We learned a lot last year in terms of how the leagues can be structured for online play, and we’ll look to carry forward the best practices from that,” Activision Blizzard’s sports and entertainment president, Tony Petitti said.
“In terms of timing, it’s a reaction to the realities of how the leagues are playing and what resources we need to allocate to best serve the league, owners, teams and fans.”