Activision Blizzard joins the likes of EA and Square Enix in reporting a disappointing financial quarter. A difference though is in the repercussions, as due to Activision blaming Blizzard and their 13 percent decline in sales for their overall money troubles, approximately 800 people will now be without a job.
But despite this, and even though Activision does not expect the studio to turn a decent revenue over the next 12 months, they will be going ahead in increasing developer numbers and committing resources to the Blizzard titles, namely Diablo and Warcraft.
Speaking to VentureBeat, Activision COO Coddy Johnson asserted that while the employee downsizing will create challenges, the surge in developing existing franchises will amount to a return of form for Blizzard. First on the list was Overwatch and its esport contingent:
“The Overwatch team is growing as it focuses on delivering a significant development pipeline in the coming years. And the Overwatch League remains a key strategic focus where we will grow the number of resources involved to drive an expanded product and year-on-year revenue growth.”
“World of Warcraft is an example of a franchise where Blizzard has already established a regular cadence of major content and in-game operations. But Blizzard is also investing in other Warcraft games and working on more ways for the community to engage with its enduring and beloved franchise.”
And finally, Diablo:
“Diablo’s development headcount will grow substantially. The teams are working on several projects for the franchise as well as the global launch of Diablo Immortal.”
Johnson is hinting at increasing developer numbers on all three fronts. Blizzard’s release lineup is limited at the moment with only Diablo Immortal and the remastered edition of Warcraft 3. The new season of the Overwatch League sounds promising what with an upsized roster and an expanded licensing agreement, but the franchise is stagnating and is losing ground to its competitors. Given what has been stated in Activision’s latest earnings call, don’t expect Blizzard to drop anything big in the coming year. And how the recent layoffs, juxtaposed with a call for increased development, will impact Blizzard’s ability to complete such tasks.
Last Updated: February 13, 2019