Activision's Making Money but Cutting Jobs, Is Infinite Warfare to Blame?

by Matthew Hayes

(Photo: Activision)

Things aren't looking so rosy over at Activision-Blizzard. Despite a pretty successful fourth quarter in 2016, Kotaku's Jason Schreier is reporting that, according to his sources, Activision has had to lay off several employees from Infinity Ward, Beenox, and various other internal studios within Activision Publishing. The news is unexpected since Activision's financial goals for 2016 were not only met, but surpassed.

The report indicates that neither MLG nor Blizzard Entertainment were affected by the layoffs, but some 5% of Activision Publishing's workforce was let go. 5% doesn't sound like a lot, but Activision Publishing isn't an indie suit, either; there are a lot of hands on-deck. There's no mention of Sledgehammer or Treyarch and whether or not they were affected as well.

Infinity Ward was downsized, though, and Activision Publishing CEO Eric Hirshberg's requited disappointment in Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare may have something to do with that. Apparently Infinite Warfare did not meet the sales expectations originally projected (despite boasting one of the best single-player campaigns we've played in some time). About 20 people have been let go as a result, but that may not be a direct result of Infinite Warfare's performance.

Kotaku reached out to Activision for comment, and got the following response: “Activision Publishing is realigning our resources to support our upcoming slate and adapt to the accelerating transition to digital, including opportunities for digital add-on content.” Make of that what you will, but it sounds to us as though it's another way of saying, "Their job here was done, and we're simply moving on to what is next." Activision is gearing up for the future and make sure that it's appropriately staffed - nothing more or less.

So what is next for Activision? Well you might have heard that Sledgehammer is going to bring us a more traditional Call of Duty later this year, whatever that means. We also expect Destiny 2 to launch later this year since Activision confirmed that it's still planning on a 2017 release. 

By Matthew Hayes

Matthew loves artistic games, RPG loot, all things Nintendo, and esoteric philosophy - if you want to buy him something for his birthday, that's all you need to know. In person, a meek dog-lover. Online, an overly competitive villain. Favorite games include Persona 4 Golden, Rainbow Six Siege, Dark Souls, Rhythm Heaven Megamix, and Jet Set Radio.