Blizzard announced it will reduce its workforce by approximately 600 employees. According to a former Blizzard employee speaking to The Verge, the layoffs are predominantly from customer service. Blizzard has reportedly managed to drastically increase the efficiency of its customer service by automating tasks such as the reclaiming of compromised user accounts. Combined with a decrease in WoW subscribers, Blizzard found that their customer service manpower far exceeded demand.
Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. today announced that it has conducted a review of its business based on current organizational needs. Following a completion of the review, the company is conducting a global reduction in workforce of approximately 600 employees. The company anticipates approximately 90% of the affected employees will come from departments not related to game development. The World of Warcraft® development team will not be impacted.
"Constant evaluation of teams and processes is necessary for the long-term health of any business. Over the last several years, we've grown our organization tremendously and made large investments in our infrastructure in order to better serve our global community. However, as Blizzard and the industry have evolved we've also had to make some difficult decisions in order to address the changing needs of our company," said Mike Morhaime, CEO and cofounder of Blizzard Entertainment. "Knowing that, it still does not make letting go of some of our team members any easier. We're grateful to have had the opportunity to work with the people impacted by today's announcement, we're proud of the contributions they made here at Blizzard, and we wish them well as they move forward."
Blizzard's current development and publishing schedules will not be impacted. The company will announce specific release plans for Diablo® III in the near future, and it's continuing to drive aggressively toward beta testing for World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria™, Blizzard DOTA, and StarCraft® II: Heart of the Swarm™. Blizzard also remains committed to maintaining its high standards of quality for customer service delivery. In addition, Blizzard is still recruiting and looking to hire qualified developers for a number of open positions. Further details are available at http://jobs.blizzard.com.