Activision Blizzard has laid off roughly workers from its esports division, partly because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic leading to a lack of stay occasion alternatives.
Following a yr of quarantines and social isolation, the corporate has determined to proceed its shift away from stay occasions, even post-COVID. In a report from Sports activities Enterprise Journal, as shared by esports insider Rod Breslau, the choice signifies future strikes deliberate as soon as society returns to a semblance of normalcy.
In an interview with Activision Blizzard president of sports activities and leisure Tony Petitti, he confirmed that the divisions impacted probably the most should do with each the Overwatch and Name of Obligation leagues. In response to Petitti, this is part of a bigger shift concerning how the corporate tackles its event-centered enterprise and is a part of the technique to grow to be “much less dependent” on this social gathering kind.
Whereas this does not imply that stay occasions will probably be going away fully, the pandemic has dramatically altered the face of esports over the previous yr. Not simply Blizzard-related aggressive scenes, both; esports as a complete has seen a dramatic pivot away from flashy on-stage occasions because of security considerations.
“We realized rather a lot final yr when it comes to how the leagues will be structured for on-line play, and we’ll look to hold ahead the perfect practices from that,” stated the president in the course of the interview. “By way of timing, it’s a response to the realities of how the leagues are taking part in and what assets we have to allocate to serve finest the league, homeowners, groups, and followers.”
He then added that the choice to put off about 50 workers wasn’t a choice they made “calmly.” Nonetheless, the reminiscence of when this identical firm abruptly reduce over 800 jobs remains to be recent from 2019, and it then shortly adopted these cuts with a name for roughly 2,000 new workers.
A separate, later report from Bloomberg signifies the layoffs aren’t simply impacting the esports division. In response to a wider vary of layoffs, a spokesperson advised the positioning that different areas affected embody Sweet Crush developer King. A spokesperson from Activision Blizzard has reached out to verify that the variety of King workers affected is one.
Included within the severance is a 90-day bundle and continued well being advantages for one yr post-layoffs. Bloomberg additionally reported that as a part of that severance, all workers impacted additionally obtained a $200 reward card to Battle.internet, the launcher for Blizzard video games.
[Update]: Following the publishing of this text, extra info has come to mild. A spokesperson from Activision Blizzard reached out with the variety of esports exterior workers that had been impacted. The variety of identified layoffs for the esports aspect is estimated to be a lot increased than the initially reported 50. The precise quantity has not been confirmed by official channels.