Bloomberg are reporting that Activision Blizzard are to lay off hundreds of staff, formally announcing the move this Tuesday. The share value of the company has plummeted from around $80 last October to less than $43 on Friday, partly due to flat sales from game such as Overwatch and the loss of the Destiny franchise. However, most of the industry has seen a huge decline in share price, even Take Two, home of Rockstar and Red Dead, have seen the shares fall dramatically.
The layoffs are part of a restructuring aimed at “centralizing functions and boosting profit,” an anonymous source told Bloomberg. That sounds like the job losses will be in administration roles rather than in development teams which is probably for the best as apart from the odd Spyro or Crash game Activision relies solely on Overwatch and Call of Duty, and Blizzard on Warcraft. The group also includes mobile publisher King, creators of Candy Crush, but even with such a small slate sales are still expected to be near $7.28 billion for 2019.
The report of lay offs comes just a few weeks after Activision hired a new CFO, Dennis Durkin, and gave him a $15 million sweetener consisting of $11.3 million of restricted stock, a $3.75 million sign-on bonus, and that’s alongside his $900K salary and a $1.35 million target bonus.