but now who will employ pandas?
Maybe all the TPS report guys who do useless paperwork that's uneeded.
You're right Alex. I can't wait for the next Diablo III delay announcement.
It's Blizzard. They employ an enormous number of people. They have like 4 teams working on 4 projects at different stages (WoW, Titan, StarCraft II: 2, Diablo 3), not to mention the amount of maintenance something like WoW requires, and the support capabilities they have to have for owning some of the most popular IPs in the industry.
Yes, people losing jobs is sad, but there is no need for people to go "boooo Blizzard" just because they let people go. They likely had a good reason for it, and employing people that aren't needed isn't a smart thing for a business, especially when that business is important to far more people's well being. Those people will likely find jobs elsewhere. No one has one job all of their life. If this were any other developer it wouldn't be that crazy because the number would be tiny, but Blizzard is more than a developer now.
I wonder if they are making their support stuff a little more integrated and centralized, and don't need to hire as many people? Seems like a smart thing to do with 3 different Battle.net franchises on or near shelves. I'm sure there are a number of reasons for the cuts, but money is likely not a huge issue for Blizzard right now. Testing might be a big dumping ground, I'm not sure if that's considered game development or not.
They say 90% of the 600 are not directly tied to game development, that still means 60 people directly tied to game development were laid off. That's still a very significant number.
60 people from 4 teams that could be up to 400+ strong when combined. Blizzard is huge, you have to remember that. Most developers don't have that many teams working on such high profile games. It's not a small number, but put it in perspective and it's not as big as say, Bungie losing 60 of it's developers.
Three times you said that WoW will be unaffected. And it's not like this is a super long article, either.
While 600 people are a lot to let go, it is at least nice that only 10% of them were related to game development (most of them probably were working on Diablo 3 since they already stated that the WoW development team wasn't affected) and the remaining 540 people were generally non-essential for the game development so the games won't be affected by it directly.
It was probably cleaners, marketing, human relation, public relation, catering, some of those working on merchandise, legal department, the ones who worked on the World of Warcraft magazine (since it was canceled) and probably some of the people working on books and comics.
So... Blizzard had 600 people working on non-game development jobs? How fucking big is this company??
There used to be about 500 pole dancers and strippers to greet potential new customers. Oh and some marketing people. Those are about the same as strippers and pole dancers, just not as attractive.
I certainly hope anyone playing a Blizz game doesn't have their account hacked because it's probably going to be hell to get things corrected now. I wonder if they looked at the Microsoft hacking epidemic and decided that if people are willing to wait 21-28 days to have their accounts fixed, Blizz gamers would probably tolerate waiting a week or so to hear back from a service representative. Maybe they'll toss in a free pet and all is forgiven.
I'm betting it's people working on all that garbage they sell that doesn't make any money. T-shirts, action figures, art books, all that blizzard merch. The card game.
They recently had me do a survey that had questions about all that shit. I'm certain they discovered no one cares about customer service or all those extras they had, so they cut em out.
They are outsourcing their entire customer service to a vendor in the phillipines.
So remove your credit card info from any blizzard accounts you may have as soon as possible.
600 people that have apparently been judged as useless and nothing and are going to starve to death in a gutter without any love or understanding, which in reality can actually do amazing things just like any other human being.
pfff activision cuts that many jobs every day...
All that F2P shit finally killing it.
It's a fair assumption that the 60 game devs let go were primarily on the Diablo III team. With that game nearing or past content completion, it would be easy to let go some freelance guys.
Still, that's 600 people without jobs now. One must wonder if this isn't an Activision decision....
Good move, I hear they were low on cash...
Ohh shit, I think my roommate just lost his job...
There are a lot of things that can be at play here and even if your still turning a profit in this day an age you need to cut out what you can.
1. You could have it where a staff member has improved and learnt more skills or is just very productive and you do not need the 3 other people doing roles because this person can manage it. You can give them a bit of a pay rise which they would be very happy with but it would be a lot less then paying three other people.
2. Modern software and online software and even just better systems in place for project management, time management and so on means that if you had people managing or a coordinator as they are often termed are not needed as much so you can cut those too.
3. As someone mentioned - Marketing. I think a lot of these roles are a big waste of money anyway But with the power of the net for example you could produce some interesting CGI and post it on youtube and get a lot of traffic and buz greater then what you would have got from magazines.
Exclusives and these deals for news and information, limiting this gets people interested and want to know about the product, even if it is crap. You just have to know. All these sorts of modern techniques can be achieved without the staff you once had...
Just a few examples of why this sort of thing happens. Since this is a statement of 90% not related to game development this is just streamlining that often happens. They will take on new projects when profits are high and then higher more staff and then scale back again at another period of time.
They should fire the team working on diablo 3 because it was sure shit before they did a total overhaul a month ago. Anyway, if they can fire 500ish customer service reps, that makes me think they are losing business and losing it BIG and FAST.
What they get for rehashing the same shit.
So if it's not from WoW then 60 people just got dropped from Diablo 3 and SC2?It's worth noting that Blizzard is almost permanently hiring customer support + community management staff in Europe, as well. Obviously that's not much consolation for the people losing their jobs, but I wouldn't read into this as any sort of decline in Blizzard's profits.
So if it's not from WoW then 60 people just got dropped from Diablo 3 and SC2?
It's worth noting that Blizzard is almost permanently hiring customer support + community management staff in Europe, as well. Obviously that's not much consolation for the people losing their jobs, but I wouldn't read into this as any sort of decline in Blizzard's profits.
600 without even touching the dev teams? That's fucking enormous.
Good for Blizzard! Watch the D.I.C.E. video with Frank Pearce, Mike Capps & Ted Price from earlier this year (on Gamespot). Blizzard is waaay too big! Letting people go, when they have to (probably already 12 months later then they should have) is a healthy thing for a BIG company.They still have literally 1000s of community-managers & online-support staff.No good designer or programmer is leaving the mothership. Be assured.
Good for Blizzard! Watch the D.I.C.E. video with Frank Pearce, Mike Capps & Ted Price from earlier this year (on Gamespot). Blizzard is waaay too big! Letting people go, when they have to (probably already 12 months later then they should have) is a healthy thing for a BIG company.
They still have literally 1000s of community-managers & online-support staff.
No good designer or programmer is leaving the mothership. Be assured.
Good for Blizzard for firing people from their jobs? Yeah real good work.
Alex's writing is so good that he can make me laugh in such a sad story.
Hopefully Jose Roberto is safe.
I'm guessing it's related to the cancellation of Blizzcon - I wonder the number of people required to plan/market/execute a conference for 30,000 people.
They've been advertising here to hire for a while.
That sucks. 600 is a pretty darn high number of employees.
You would think that the makers of Starcraft would know the dangers of expanding too quickly.
Well that still sucks even if it's not game devs.
hope bob's ok.
so glad I don't care about WoW at all
Marketing. It's always marketing.
Now that Kotick is gone who do we have to blame for this? 600 lives are ruined from the company that prints money all for the sake of "streamlining". Bullshit I say. Business as usual they say.
Everyone not making WoW. That's who.
Darn, I was getting used to the less than 1 hr response time to my WoW in game petitions.
@Jayzilla: haha - you're welcome?
If video game business is the Final Fantasy Football of your choice, like it is mine, here's a link to the aforementioned D.I.C.E panel: Staying Around, Playing Around With Mike Capps, Ted Price and and Frank Pearce from Blizzard. Frank isn't talking a lot during this session, but you can get the feel for the scope and scale he has to deal with & the trouble and pressure all CEO's have to cope with on a daily basis managing a video game company & employees.
btw, this link is forwarding you to Gamespot. I apologize for posting this on GB.
Sucks for the people losing there jobs, but at least they weren't game devs from sound of it.
thanks for putting my mind at ease. i have a heart condition and i couldn't handle the drama.
Makes sense. When you've lost millions of subscribers you can probably afford to cut down on your customer service staff. Best of luck to those affected.
They are going to stop using battle.net and start using Playstation Network and Xbox Live.
Diablo3 will sell more copys on console than PC Xbox will not have mouse support PS3 will
Im guessing blizzard is demanding Microsoft let them have mouse suport on Project Titain on 360. and Microsoft is saying no and this is quite awkwardly delaying the next generation as Blizzard does not want to help with some "new touch bull#*@$ system on Xbox720" and are just demanding acess to xbox install base so all that talk of them working with microsoft on next gen control systems was really just them hating on kinect and praying for mouse.
the 600 staff are 600 staff that will not be needed when the wow population is reduced or overshadowed by diablo3 and the next gen MMO (possibly NOT on 360 or next gen 360 due to stuborn Microsoft)
Customer Service would be the most obvious solution and maybe some localization or foreign market jobs as well. I knew Blizzard was big but maybe I was blissfully unaware of how big given they can lay off 600 people and keep the dev teams largely untouched.
Quite honestly, I don't care about games being delayed, or anything else, when things like this happen. I just feel sorry for 600 people and their families have to go through this stuff.
i hope Bob Colayco wasn't let go.
While absolutely a big number it's not too much of a big deal in relation to their employee count.
I mean they obviously won't lay off their skilled developers, after all they're just growing and getting good artists, programmers etc. ain't easy. Especially if you have to work them into a company this big.
So who knows, perhaps they just cut the unnecessary fat. It can be really harmful if your employee count gets out of hand.
Kotick smells blood.
I hope Diablo III won't get delayed again :/
Wow. Is that how good the graphics look in WoW now? I don't remember them looking that good when I played the trial many months ago.
Mike Morhaime also said today via twitter I think that we can expect a Diablo 3 release date in the "coming weeks". A delay seems relatively unlikely (although never rule it out).
Blizzard employs an insane number of people for custommer/tech support for WoW in several countires. It's entirely possible for them to ax this many people without affecting their game development one iota.