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Activision Blizzard Lays Off 50 Employees in Esports Division
16.03.2021 um 15:00
Activision Blizzard is laying off roughly 50 employees from their Esports division, affecting Overwatch League and Call of Duty League.
As reported by
Sports Business Journal
, Activision Blizzard President of Sports & Entertainment Tony Petitti had a meeting this morning discussing the restructuring and noting the division's decreasing reliance on live events.
We learned a lot last year in terms of how the leagues can be structured for online play, and we’ll look to carry forward the best practices from that,” he said. "In terms of timing, it’s a reaction to the realities of how the leagues are playing and what resources we need to allocate to best serve the league, owners, teams and fans." Petitti, who reports to Activision CEO Bobby Kotick, also noted that there were discussions about how to best structure the league even before he started in August. The decision took time in part because "you never take anything like this lightly," he said.
In a follow-up statement to
, a spokesperson reiterated how the pandemic has changed consumer needs in entertainment.
“Players are increasingly choosing to connect with our games digitally and the e-sports team, much like traditional sports, entertainment, and broadcasting industries, has had to adapt its business due to the impact the pandemic has had on live events,” a company spokesperson said. The affected U.S. workers will receive a minimum of 90 days severance and health benefits for a year.
employees from other Activision divisions were laid off as well, such as King which develops Candy Crush. While the severance package is generous by corporate standards in the US, it's a puzzling choice to include a $200 Battle.net gift card.
Blizzard's most recent
reported better-than-expected results for Q4 and the full year of 2020.
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