Activision Blizzard cuts 600 jobs
Activision Blizzard, one of the largest video game publishers in the United States, is hacking 600 jobs throughout the Blizzard division, the company announced on Wednesday. 90 percent of the layoffs are not related to the development department, but will affect those on customer service staff who help support the games, according to Sterne Agee analyst Arvind Bhatia.
The company’s most profitable video game, “World of Warcraft”, still pushes on with over 10 million subscribers, but has seen decline from 10.3 million to 10.2 million at the end of 2011– losing 700,000 subscribers in its third quarter last year.
“World of Warcraft” has been running solid for the past 7 years — however the company has seen steady decline in recent quarters. Analysis speculate that Electronic Art’s new MMO “Star Wars: The Old Rebpublic” might be chewing up some of those numbers. Blizzard is expected to release its next “World of Warcraft” expansion, “Mists of Pandaria“, later this year, and the arrival of its announcement had some fans a tad upset: Panda’s in World of Warcraft?
It’s possible the decision to bring Panda’s as a playable class may have angered millions of its fans, or that Blizzard was hoping to attract “Hello Kitty” fans to their game. Either way, “World of Warcraft” might soon be the second most played game in the world — maybe. Activision shares were down 1 cent on Wednesday.