Blizzard Entertainment has seemingly initiated a round of layoffs within its Hearthstone development team, with several employees reporting redundancies, amidst company restructuring. The news of staff cuts first hit LinkedIn, before being reported on by Kotaku‘s Ethan Gach. Around ten people have reportedly been laid off at Blizzard, many of whom were tenured employees.
“After 18 and a half years at Blizzard Entertainment, I’ve been laid off without notice as of today; the Hearthstone Team is apparently being restructured and my Tools Engineer role is no longer needed,” Hunter C., a Software Engineer, posted to LinkedIn.
Activision Blizzard later confirmed these layoffs to Gach, in a statement identifying widespread company change as the reason. “Organisational changes were made to the Hearthstone team; as a result a small number of roles have become redundant,” a spokesperson reportedly said. “We want to thank these employees for their many contributions.”
At this stage, it’s unclear if organisational changes will impact other teams at Activision Blizzard. In future, however, we do expect to see more significant changes – as it’s expected that Activision Blizzard will be prepared for acquisition by Microsoft in the coming months. The impact of this change remains unclear, but we’ll likely learn more as various lawsuits begin to wrap up.
Our thoughts are with those impacted by the recent layoffs at Activision Blizzard – and those impacted by recent, wider layoffs in the games industry. Throughout 2023, a number of major companies have initiated structural overhauls in an effort to combat rising inflation, and business costs.
Embracer Group, one of the largest games companies in the world, is currently in the process of making widespread changes, with studios including Private Division, 2K, Firaxis, and Crystal Dynamics impacted by layoffs. Likewise, companies including EA, CD Projekt Red, Riot Games, Amazon, and Ascendant Studios have also recently undergone restructures. We can likely expect to see more change taking place in the global games industry in the coming year.