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Posts with tag 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

Rumored "mass layoffs" at Blizzard never happened

Yesterday, a handful of gaming news sites reported that a senior designer working on the new Titan MMO had gotten laid off by Blizzard Entertainment. In the hours that followed, the internet began conducting an "investigation" via Facebook that revealed tens, if not hundreds of Blizzard employees were just laid off.

There's only one problem with the information said investigation dredged up: It's not true. There are no massive layoffs at Blizzard. So says Blizzard itself, via Community Manager Bashiok:

mass layoffs at blizz
Hey guys, out of respect for their privacy, we don't discuss individual employees, but the speculation circulating about 'massive layoffs at Blizzard' is just a rumor.


Fellow Community Manager Zarhym confirmed the lack of layoffs on his own personal Twitter account, saying that there's "tons of speculation based on false evidence." He went on to explain that the vast majority of people rumored to have been laid off showed up to work today.

So rest assured: The sky is not falling. Blizzard employees still have their jobs. Project Titan has not been cancelled. Ghostcrawler is still in the building. And despite what you may have heard from Mr. Feeney's grocer, Cory and Topanga are not adopting a 14-year-old Chinese boy.
Brace yourselves for what could be some of most exciting updates to the game recently with patch 4.3. Review the official patch notes, and then dig into what's ahead: new item storage options, cross-realm raiding, cosmetic armor skinning and your chance to battle the mighty Deathwing -- from astride his back!

Filed under: Blizzard, News items, Rumors

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