Updated February 12, 2019: Today, Activision Blizzard informed its thousands of employees that layoffs will be taking place across the board. It's unclear what the extent will be, but as many as 800 employees may be let go. The executives said that there aren't enough projects in the works to warrant this much staff. Despite supposedly having the best financial results in the company's history, people will be let go. Financial analysts expected Activision Blizzard to earn roughly $3 billion in revenue, but it fell almost a billion short. However, Activision Blizzard promised to double-down on its most popular franchises and expand those teams in 2019. It's unclear why so many people will be let go when an expansion is allegedly happening soon.
Activision hasn't had the best time recently. A few months ago, the company announced that Destiny 2: Forsaken failed to meet sales expectations and a few weeks later, Bungie and Activision split, with the former retaining rights to the popular franchise. That's not all though, according to a report by Bloomberg, Blizzard — also a part of Activision — revealed that games such as Overwatch and Hearthstone were seeing flat or declining numbers of users. While the overall company is quite healthy, it's severely underperforming due to the extensive competition from other developers.
Unfortunately, the bad news doesn't end there. Analysts expect the Bungie-Activision split to reduce annual revenue by as much as $400 million. Activision Blizzard may miss its sales targets by as much as a billion dollars. Bloomberg added that Activision Blizzard plans to "announce job cuts in the face of slowing sales, according to people familiar with the matter." Given how tumultuous the gaming industry can be, this is devastating news to the hundreds of employees who will be laid off. It's unclear what the exact count will be at this moment, but we wish those affected the best of luck in the future. The layoffs may even go up to a thousand.
Games like Overwatch are facing increasing competition from the numerous new shooters on the market. While Apex Legends isn't a direct competitor because one is a battle royale experience and the other isn't. Both share many similarities like a cast of characters with unique abilities. This can take players away from an old game.
The only major release Activision has coming up is Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice. While the title looks stellar, it's not as popular as the Call of Duty series. Many analysts believe that Activision Blizzard needs more new, quality releases if it wants to compete with other publishers. Considering that the corporation employs roughly 10,000 people, let's hope the future plans work.
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