Activision Blizzard has reportedly fired dozens of people across various departments, including 50 employees who dealt with e‑sports programming and other live events. Bloomberg has stated the layoffs have affected less than 2% of the company’s employees — or roughly 190 employees.
Because fifty of these employees were specific to esports, it’s signaling that Activision may be planning to shift away from in-person events after a year of coronavirus lockdowns.
“Players are increasingly choosing to connect with our games digitally and the e‑sports team, much like traditional sports, entertainment and broadcasting industries, has had to adapt its business due to the impact the pandemic has had on live events,” a company spokesperson said.
Activision said U.S. workers will receive a minimum of 90 days severance and health benefits for a year, as well as “job transition support.” They were also given $200 gift cards to Battle.net.
Tony Petitti, President of Sports & Entertainment spoke to SBJ about the 50 layoffs for the esports department, saying they were partly due to need to reduce costs and to free up resources to reallocate to other areas of the company.