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Posts with tag blizzard-layoffs

The Lawbringer: Autonomous systems deal with customer service problems

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Pop law abounds in The Lawbringer, your weekly dose of WoW, the law, video games and the MMO genre. Mathew McCurley takes you through the world running parallel to the games we love and enjoy, full of rules, regulations, and esoteroic topics that slip through the cracks.

At the beginning of March, Blizzard laid off 600 positions from the company in many departments, many of which came from the customer service and community side of the company. The official response and reasoning for the layoffs is internal restructuring of much of the way World of Warcraft's customer support is handled. Restructuring could mean a lot of things, after all, so the vagueness of what was happening threw people off.

I surmised that one of the reasons for the sudden downsizing of customer support had to do with the development of new, better, and more automated tools that perform many of the mundane repair or restore jobs customer service was previously responsible for. Staffed for a new subscription number and armed with a more stable infrastructure, account recovery tools, and now the automatic item restore feature, the Blizzard customer service team was able to shed personnel and keep expected services active.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, The Lawbringer

Blizzard layoffs could mean many things

Pop law abounds in The Lawbringer, your weekly dose of WoW, the law, video games and the MMO genre. Mathew McCurley takes you through the world running parallel to the games we love and enjoy, full of rules, regulations, and esoteroic topics that slip through the cracks.

It was a shock to many on Wednesday when Blizzard announced that it would be cutting 600 positions from the company, including many support and customer service jobs and even some developer spots. Very sad news for a great group of people, absolutely. Maybe we can do a little digging and figure out why Blizzard cut these positions and make some sense of it.

You don't just cut workers "because." Activision Blizzard is a publicly traded company in the United States, where corporations are beholden to their shareholders, profits, and the bottom line. We still live in a world where the price of stock is paramount, so raising the price of stock combined with investor satisfaction is key. Every decision by Activision Blizzard must, at the end of the day, be made with the knowledge that the investors matter.

Let's start with what employee staff reductions do not mean. Blizzard is not going broke or bankrupt because of these 600 jobs. World of Warcraft, StarCraft, Diablo, and unannounced titles are still being developed and pored over. Mike Morhaime himself said that the active positions cut were mostly non-developmental, which leaves support, customer service, and potential redundancies in the company's structure. All in all, 600 jobs is a large enough number that there is a reason for all of this.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, The Lawbringer

Blizzard laying off 600 staff globally [Updated]

Blizzard will be reducing its global workforce by 600 people. About 540 (90%) of them will come from departments not related to game development. Blizzard makes note that the World of Warcraft development team will not be impacted by these layoffs.

Mike Morhaime, CEO and cofounder of Blizzard, has the following to say:

Mike Morhaime
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.

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.


It's certainly bad news for those impacted, and we here at WoW Insider hope that everyone is able to land on their feet.

According to the press release, current publishing schedules for their various games will not be affected.

Update 1:00 p.m. EST: Another statement from Mike Morhaime, after the break.

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Filed under: News items

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