Times have been tough for the game industry, particularly since the 2008 financial crisis. No matter which studio closed down, which wave of layoffs was announced, we could always look to Blizzard Entertainment as recession proof. That is until today.
Blizzard Entertainment announced their own set of layoffs today, saying that they have little choice but to cut their worldwide workforce by 600. They have pointed out that most of the layoffs will be in departments that don't affect game development, and that this decision is for the benefit of the long term health of the company. Mike Morhaime released a formal statement explaining that Diablo III, StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm, Mists of Pandaria, and Titan are all still rolling full steam ahead.
With most gaming companies tightening their belts, this announcement comes as no real surprise. It seems as if the MMO giant will just have to reorganize to keep up their quality, and perhaps they will slow the rampant hiring they've been doing the last couple of years. Perhaps this will be a good thing in the end, since it means that Blizzard will be stronger as they move on into a future of inevitable zombie apocalypse. Read Morhaime's statement after the jump.
We announced today that we’re in the process of cutting a number of active positions, mostly non-development, throughout the company. I'm sure this announcement has sparked some questions from all of you, so I want take this opportunity to address those as best I can. Over the past several years, the company has grown rapidly and evolved to better serve you and the rest of our global community. Thanks to all of your support, we continue to serve by far the biggest subscription-based MMO community, as well as the most passionate eSports and online gaming communities, in the world.
In order to keep making epic game content while serving players effectively, we have to be smart about how we manage our resources. This means we sometimes have to make difficult decisions about how to best maintain the health of the company. We’re in the process of making some of those hard decisions now.
After evaluating our current organizational needs, we determined that while some areas of our business had been operating at the right levels and could benefit from further growth, other areas had become overstaffed. As a result, we need to scale down some of our departments and part with some of our colleagues and friends here at Blizzard. I know that you all understand how difficult this type of situation can be for anyone who might be affected, so I want to assure you that we'll be offering each impacted employee a severance package and other benefits.
I also want to emphasize that we remain committed to shipping multiple games this year, and that our development teams in particular remain largely unaffected by today's announcement. We're continuing to develop, iterate, and polish Blizzard DOTA, Diablo III, StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm, World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria, as well as other, unannounced projects. We'll have exciting news to share in the coming weeks regarding Diablo III's release date, and will soon be holding a private media event to showcase the latest work on Mists of Pandaria. It goes without saying that we're working hard to get all of these games in your hands as soon as possible.
You've all come to expect Blizzard to live up to our mission statement with every game, and deliver the most epic entertainment experiences ever. You can continue to expect that and nothing less from us as we move forward.