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Blizzard President J Allen Brack's Letter to the Community Regarding 'Restructuring'

13

Comments

  • gervaise1gervaise1 Member EpicPosts: 6,919
    I'm a bit confused about this decision. I understand that they made more revenue but potentially were losing profit due to jobs that weren't necessary, but it seems like they got rid of a majority of jobs that weren't devs but you need those jobs filled still. You NEED community managers for your games, you NEED customer service people. I don't know why they would axe the CM's from Warcraft, the 100% online game that has a pretty damn toxic community when they don't get answers.

    Also wasn't Blizzard under fire already for having a lower than average pay that employees dealt with so they can say they worked for Blizzard?

    Blizzard is nothing close to the company it used to be. If they decide to move away from making quality titles, and just pumping out crap, then I hope that it comes back to bite the higher ups in the ass. 
    Put on these glasses: "What do the stock holders want to hear?".

    - Cutting CS jobs sounds better than saying cutting dev jobs.

    - Making it sound like they are increasing devs - by 20% - sounds good. Except its only certain titles that are gaining devs.

    - Saying that Candy Crush is doing better than ever sounds better than saying King's MAUs have fallen by over 200M (nearly halved) since AB took over.

    - etc. 

    Reread what is said with the glasses on. And then factor in the unstated red button issue: what do we have to say to protect our stock options. Things should become a lot clearer.
  • ET3DET3D Member UncommonPosts: 322
    When a game company stops an effort such as Heroes of the Storm eSports, what do you think that means? It means the people involved no longer have work.

    It's always sad to see people out of work, but if it means Blizzard is a little more focused on creating games rather than creating social efforts around them, that may actually be a good thing.
  • halfmystichalfmystic Member RarePosts: 435
    One of my friends got employed at Blizzard as an AV Engineer recently.

    He was effected by this.
    MadFrenchie
  • AriesTigerAriesTiger Member UncommonPosts: 444
    edited February 2019
    Imagine how many of the blizzard employees are online trolls and other undesirables. Maybe that karma finally hit them. :D

    I will never shed a tear when an IT/entertainment jocky loses a job...I mean comeon. It's usually IT people and those in the entertainment industry who resorts to online trolling. I've done a lot of research and saw the results of many doxxing of trolls...every single one of them worked either IT or marketing.
    GdemamiLokeroMaddog666Shaigh
  • LobotomistLobotomist Member EpicPosts: 5,932
    edited February 2019
    Ungood said:

    rodarin said:

    Didnt they make like 7 bil last year ? I am not going to jump on the millennial band wagon and start calling for forced profit sharing (taxation on the rich) or crow on 'corporate' greed. But when you lay off people it isnt because a company is in trouble. Not generally. because math never adds up. If your LOSING billions (not MAKING billions like they do) then obviously laying off 800 people isnt going to solve anything. Even if they all made a half million a year thats less than half your losses.



    Nah this is surely about something somewhere that kicked in for these people and a few more got thrown in to 'hide' it. It also assures the people at the top will not have to take pay cuts or have bonuses dinged. Even though the company line is they didnt meet expectations. Which falls squarely on leadership not the drones. Another great irony in all this.



    Bottomline is people get hired and fired everyday now. Working in an industry like this has always been volatile and even moreso now. Also 30 is probably considered ancient in terms of age in the workforce. Dont be surprised to see Activision/Blizzard hire/obtain a few hundred 'interns' that are either free or bottom basement priced whom they will promote and then can say in some future PR spiel that they 'promote from within' and that job security at their company is top of the line. Because this will be forgotten in a month or less.



    This is the big secret of our age. I am really worried more people are not talking about this.

    I know you young dont care. But working today is very different than working just 10-20 years ago, where people would find a job and work there until pension.

    Today being 30 is already old for most jobs. Most companies are so volatile that you can be happy if you can be on same job for 3 years. Its started to be 2-3 years cycles and than looking for next job. Until you go over 35, when you are already "old" - because young workers are easier to exploit, and agree to lower pay.

    And I am talking here about high-tech jobs

    It is very scary trend
    It's more about jobs where people are expendable, Trade professions of highly skilled people, and jobs where talent matters are still very secure jobs, and truth be told, highly skilled and talented people will not work for a company with poor or bad employment practices.

    This is what people are talking about, when they discuss lack of recovering. See in a job like making a car, the vast majority of the workers are assembly, talent and skill do not play a role in that situation, that is why it can be automated very easy and production can be increased. Which is why they are also immune for the most part to layoff panic, as the majority of their layoffs happen to people that are just cogs in a line.

    In fields like gaming, talet to make the game, does matter. Securing that Talent, can be the dividing factor between making a great game and making a mediocre game, not only that, if a company can't secure the talent, other companies can and will, which will suddenly give them a competitive edge, notice how some upstart companies can pump out amazing games, and massive companies are making "Meh" .. that is a product of talent. Hiring people that have the skills, insight, and ability to really connect with what the client wants.

    That is also why some companies fall back on series games like EA, depending on making Series games, typically that is a result of having lost their talented employees and staff, and need to pump out production line stuff to stay alive. Basically, going from being a fine dining with a 5 star chef to only having a line cook.

    So, it really depends on the product you plan to sell, at how you can treat your employees.
    You know what is the problem. You think as a sane intelligent person. They dont ...

    The Ivory Tower is allready so disconected, their decision making is completely alien.
    Today they would rather fire the experienced people ( that have backbone and demands ) and hire entry level rookies that work for peenuts and will endure any kind of crunch ( all for promise of getting leg up in the industry - which is a lie, because once you do, you become absolete )

    This is the truth.

    And evidence ( beside from myself experiencing this of my own neck ) Is the quality of the games now days. Do you seriously think people suddenly forgot how to make good games ?
    GdemamiUngood



  • Superman0XSuperman0X Member RarePosts: 2,283
    DMKano said:
    bcbully said:
    Umm have we regressed to this?
    To believe that we were ever above this shows a lack of understanding of human nature. I have no faith in humanity... and they have never let me down.
    KalebGraysonMadFrenchie
  • milayskymilaysky Member UncommonPosts: 32
    Blizzard Entertainment ..feels like a fals advertisement now
  • MadFrenchieMadFrenchie Member LegendaryPosts: 8,505
    DMKano said:
    bcbully said:
    Umm have we regressed to this?
    To believe that we were ever above this shows a lack of understanding of human nature. I have no faith in humanity... and they have never let me down.
    Pessimism is usually much closer to reality than optimism, sad to say.
    Gdemami[Deleted User]

    image
  • ElsaboltsElsabolts Member RarePosts: 3,476
    You want to send a message, stop playing the game !
    " Life Liberty and the Pursuit of Those Who  Would Threaten It "
                                            MAGA
  • LokeroLokero Member RarePosts: 1,514
    Hatefull said:

    Cazriel said:



    DMKano said:






    "Dear community,





    Remember all those people we just sh!# canned?





    Me neither..."


    image













    The thing is - game company employees are creative focused and this sort of cutthroat line simply doesn't work in such environment.

    This might work at an investment firm. But if CEO took that tone, he'd lose all employees within a year. No game devs will put up with that shit.






    Know a guy that worked at one of Blizzard's companies as a developer. It was shut down about a year or so ago. They just came in and said, "We're not making this game anymore." So the guy shrugs and gets another job. Now Blizzard is calling him and wants him to come back to work for them and he's about as interested in their job offer as he is in a week-old plate of spaghetti. Working for Blizz (ooo-aaah) only goes so far. Once you've been shat upon, it really loses its lustre.



    Companies that lay off people, especially massive layoffs like this one, never recover.





    This type of thing happens all the time...Artists won't put up with that...absolute bullshit, when they get hungry enough, they sure as hell will put up with it.

    It is sad, and it does suck, but it is not the end of the world, people get laid off daily, business exists to make money when that isn't happening, changes have to be made. You don't like that the exec's are still getting paid? well then start your own company and when it starts to fail keep the rank and file and lay yourself off see how far that goes. Life is not always easy and it is seldom fair, be prepared for that or be prepared to go hungry. Your happiness and comfort are not guaranteed.
    Haha, seriously...  The entire gaming industry is built on the very fact that artists and creatives will put up with a ridiculous amount of crap to break into these companies.

    Even tomorrow, if Blizzard announced a hiring spree, they'd have people lining up for their big shot.

    Sure, some long-time industry veterans might have their freedom to walk away and choose, but most of the creatives in the industry would jump at the chance.  It's like the way musicians will sleep in a train station, if necessary while struggling to break in.

    These jobs are notoriously unstable because there's always plenty of desperate people waiting to fill a spot.
    Supply and demand isn't limited to products, but it encompasses people and employment.
    Maddog666Sovrath
  • UngoodUngood Member LegendaryPosts: 7,287
    Lokero said:
    Hatefull said:

    Cazriel said:



    DMKano said:






    "Dear community,





    Remember all those people we just sh!# canned?





    Me neither..."


    image













    The thing is - game company employees are creative focused and this sort of cutthroat line simply doesn't work in such environment.

    This might work at an investment firm. But if CEO took that tone, he'd lose all employees within a year. No game devs will put up with that shit.






    Know a guy that worked at one of Blizzard's companies as a developer. It was shut down about a year or so ago. They just came in and said, "We're not making this game anymore." So the guy shrugs and gets another job. Now Blizzard is calling him and wants him to come back to work for them and he's about as interested in their job offer as he is in a week-old plate of spaghetti. Working for Blizz (ooo-aaah) only goes so far. Once you've been shat upon, it really loses its lustre.



    Companies that lay off people, especially massive layoffs like this one, never recover.





    This type of thing happens all the time...Artists won't put up with that...absolute bullshit, when they get hungry enough, they sure as hell will put up with it.

    It is sad, and it does suck, but it is not the end of the world, people get laid off daily, business exists to make money when that isn't happening, changes have to be made. You don't like that the exec's are still getting paid? well then start your own company and when it starts to fail keep the rank and file and lay yourself off see how far that goes. Life is not always easy and it is seldom fair, be prepared for that or be prepared to go hungry. Your happiness and comfort are not guaranteed.
    Haha, seriously...  The entire gaming industry is built on the very fact that artists and creatives will put up with a ridiculous amount of crap to break into these companies.

    Even tomorrow, if Blizzard announced a hiring spree, they'd have people lining up for their big shot.

    Sure, some long-time industry veterans might have their freedom to walk away and choose, but most of the creatives in the industry would jump at the chance.  It's like the way musicians will sleep in a train station, if necessary while struggling to break in.

    These jobs are notoriously unstable because there's always plenty of desperate people waiting to fill a spot.
    Supply and demand isn't limited to products, but it encompasses people and employment.
    You have a point, and you are 100% spot on, but by your own words, the people they will attract are people looking to break into the Biz, they would not be hiring proven talent.

    This is not a good place to be if you are trying to be competitive, because if your company has a poor reputation, the talented skilled people, are not the ones knocking at your door, they are now the ones you are competing against with a staff that may be totally unprepared for the challenge.

    Artistic fields, are tricky like that. You could find the next gem who becomes a legend, you could hire a pile of shit and your next project tanks hard.
    Gdemami
    Egotism is the anesthetic that dullens the pain of stupidity, this is why when I try to beat my head against the stupidity of other people, I only hurt myself.

  • azarhalazarhal Member RarePosts: 1,402
    edited February 2019


    I guess the $7.16 billion they made in 2018 was not enough to share with their staff. Profits above all else.



    This layoff was done to increase the company share price on the stock market after it fell. They had an increase in profit in 2018 from 2017 despite sales going down which indicate that they absorbed the drop without having to do layoff already. But that wasn't enough for shareholders who wanted more...

    Also, Activision has been restructuring hard in the last few months and going by what they are doing, it's not related to their end of 2018 financial results. They are refocusing their gaming market target entirely. That will either end up a very good idea or a total disaster.
    MadFrenchie
  • meonthissitemeonthissite Member UncommonPosts: 917
    Riiiight! Restructuring? The corporate word that really means "Laying Off Hard Working Employees with Families"
  • IshkalIshkal Member UncommonPosts: 304
    lol if they were dedicated to games rather then their own greed they would still be on top. An wtf is up with 800 American jobs being cut. GG R.I.P Blizzard 1994-2019
  • lahnmirlahnmir Member LegendaryPosts: 4,890
    edited February 2019
    And here too, I’d like to give some perspective.

    I work for a company with roughly 115.000 employees. In the next 5-10 years we will be restructuring to bring that down to 75.000. That is at least 4000 jobs lost a year. Contracts will expire, divisions will be shut down etc. all while my company is doing extremely well and makes more money then ever. Its not about that, it is, as a company, reevaluating what you need and don’t need.

    These jobs getting scrapped might have been needed some years ago, but not anymore, companies rarely look at the right now, they plan ahead. Saying CEOs shouldn’t have hired these people in the first place because they weren’t needed is just plain ignorant.

    As for me? My division has just been extended for a couple more years. The fun part? When it does shut down I am guaranteed a job of similar pay and rank within the company, a fortunate position. And even then the company is investing in my education and is stimulating me to look at other companies and career paths, I perform very well, they want me to stay, and still they stimulate me to look around.

    /Cheers,
    Lahnmir
    Post edited by lahnmir on
    [Deleted User]Cryomatrix[Deleted User]
    'the only way he could nail it any better is if he used a cross.'

    Kyleran on yours sincerely 


    'But there are many. You can play them entirely solo, and even offline. Also, you are wrong by default.'

    Ikcin in response to yours sincerely debating whether or not single-player offline MMOs exist...



    'This does not apply just to ED but SC or any other game. What they will get is Rebirth/X4, likely prettier but equally underwhelming and pointless. 

    It is incredibly difficult to design some meaningfull leg content that would fit a space ship game - simply because it is not a leg game.

    It is just huge resource waste....'

    Gdemami absolutely not being an armchair developer

  • CryomatrixCryomatrix Member EpicPosts: 3,223
    lahnmir said:
    And here too, I’d like to give some perspective.

    I work for a company with roughly 115.000 employees. In the next 5-10 years we will be restructuring to bring that down to 75.000. That is at least 4000 jobs lost a year. Contracts will expire, divisions will be shut down etc. all while my company is doing extremely well and makes more money then ever. Its not about that, it is, as a company, reevaluating what you need and don’t need.

    These jobs getting scrapped might have been needed some years ago, but not anymore, companies rarely look at the right now, they plan ahead. Saying CEOs shouldn’t have hired these people in the first place because they weren’t needed is just plain ignorant.

    As for me? My division has just been extended for a couple more years. The fun part? When it does shut down I am guaranteed a job of similar pay and rank within the company, a fortunate position. And even then the company is investing in my education and is stimulating me to look at other companies and career paths, I perform very well, they want me to stay, and still they stimulate me to look around.

    /Cheers,
    Lahnmir
    That is business, if the CEO didnt restructure and try to stay ahead of the game, what happens could be your entire company of 115k goes to hell and everyone loses a job.

    Wow, a CEO runs a company of 115k, cant imagine what revenue is, but hmm, that person's decisions can have pretty big impact on probably billions of dollars.

    So what should a person with the most impact on billions of dollars be paid? You want to get top talent right? Or go cheap? 
    Catch me streaming at twitch.tv/cryomatrix
    You can see my sci-fi/WW2 book recommendations. 
  • ScorchienScorchien Member LegendaryPosts: 8,914
    "To assist with the transition, we are offering each impacted employee a severance package that includes additional pay, benefits continuation, and career and recruiting support to help them find their next opportunity."

    You mean because of the size of your layoffs you fall under the WARN Act and need to provide this to the employees...                                                                                                                            The Warn act ONLY requires them to provide 60 days notice, and job training..       NOT a severance package, profit sharing,  job placement assurance. Extended medical   etc ... this is a very nice gesture by ATVI and a luxury most people never get to see..     Good letter thx John 

    Cryomatrix
  • DaranarDaranar Member UncommonPosts: 390

    foppotee said:

    This is just not corporate restructuring. This is laying off to pay the way for the fat cats at the top of the corporations, some just recently hired, & the dividends for stock holders.



    Dude ATVI gives like three quarters of a percent annual dividend yield. Let's not act like they are paying out big to shareholders, lol. Not to mention they have dropped about 50% from their 52week high. There is nothing in ATVI that is overly catering to shareholders. Now that we've got that out of the way...

    If your company is bleeding money and investors are fleeing...you kinda have to make DRASTIC restructuring efforts. Because what they were doing, wasn't working. And look at the community and their gripe about game efforts as of late? You would think the community would be happy about ATVI putting more effort towards development and less in eSports and PR BS. Everyone forgets they are making these cuts because they are looking to add EVEN MORE jobs in game development departments over the course of 2019.
    Cryomatrix

    If I want a world in which people can purchase success and power with cash, I'll play Real Life. Keep Virtual Worlds Virtual!


  • laseritlaserit Member LegendaryPosts: 7,591

    So what should a person with the most impact on billions of dollars be paid? You want to get top talent right? Or go cheap? 
    Maybe we should give our politicians a raise. Maybe a president or a prime minister should be paid billions a year.

    How much is enough?
    [Deleted User]

    "Be water my friend" - Bruce Lee

  • OzmodanOzmodan Member EpicPosts: 9,726
    The corporate mantra, how to be a complete jerk without even trying!'

    Babuinix
  • CryomatrixCryomatrix Member EpicPosts: 3,223
    laserit said:

    So what should a person with the most impact on billions of dollars be paid? You want to get top talent right? Or go cheap? 
    Maybe we should give our politicians a raise. Maybe a president or a prime minister should be paid billions a year.

    How much is enough?
    A bit nuanced.

    Presidents make bank after in speeches and books. Plus, the prestige and power itself is worth more than
    What any CEO gets paid. 

    Also, politicians are ideally public servants who should be truthful, just, and have their county's best interest at heart . . . 
    Catch me streaming at twitch.tv/cryomatrix
    You can see my sci-fi/WW2 book recommendations. 
  • lahnmirlahnmir Member LegendaryPosts: 4,890
    Nyctelios said:
    I just think some people are forgetng the fact that recently a "private" runned Stream of Method world first raid break every record on twitch in regards to WoW streaming.

    And Blizzard had nothing to do with it.

    That's the thing: Is not that an e-sports scene or community interaction isn't needed anymore @lahnmir , but the ones calling the shots are probably still there, and it's their fault things went downhill.

    Who's idea was to make OW a focus in Star Craft 2 place in Blizzcon while the game itself had absolutely no support for espectators?

    Don't anyone of you remember (if you saw) how it was headache inducing watch an OW competitive match stream? It was clean cuts from one character (first person) to another in quick successions. You couldn't understand what was happening even if you played the game.

    They "fixed" some of it later but the damage was already done.

    Blizzard has a goose that lays golden eggs on anyones hands but theirs. It's amazing. They could have something to do with Method Stream and get PR out of it, but they didn't. As they keep missing opportunities they are losing streamers.

    Asmongold, which I dislike yet is a famous streamer nonetheless, now is streaming Apex. I thought the Earth would be obliterated before he would "take a break" from WoW.
    To be clear, I don’t think it is not needed anymore. I am simply stating that when you are setting up a platform/service/whatever you need a lot more people on your team then when you are simply maintaining it. It can be highly successful and popular and still you require less people then before. Imagine needing just as much workers to fix your house as it took to build it.

    As for the actual quality of the people involved, I’ve got no clue, I don’t know them and what factors they took into consideration and what targets they were trying to hit.

    I agree with everything else you wrote btw.

    /Cheers,
    Lahnmir
    'the only way he could nail it any better is if he used a cross.'

    Kyleran on yours sincerely 


    'But there are many. You can play them entirely solo, and even offline. Also, you are wrong by default.'

    Ikcin in response to yours sincerely debating whether or not single-player offline MMOs exist...



    'This does not apply just to ED but SC or any other game. What they will get is Rebirth/X4, likely prettier but equally underwhelming and pointless. 

    It is incredibly difficult to design some meaningfull leg content that would fit a space ship game - simply because it is not a leg game.

    It is just huge resource waste....'

    Gdemami absolutely not being an armchair developer

  • laseritlaserit Member LegendaryPosts: 7,591
    laserit said:

    So what should a person with the most impact on billions of dollars be paid? You want to get top talent right? Or go cheap? 
    Maybe we should give our politicians a raise. Maybe a president or a prime minister should be paid billions a year.

    How much is enough?
    A bit nuanced.

    Presidents make bank after in speeches and books. Plus, the prestige and power itself is worth more than
    What any CEO gets paid. 

    Also, politicians are ideally public servants who should be truthful, just, and have their county's best interest at heart . . . 
    I think the two have quite a bit in common.  
    Gdemami

    "Be water my friend" - Bruce Lee

  • goboygogoboygo Member RarePosts: 2,141
    Employees are disposable assets for companies based on what they offer, deal with it or try starting your own company, treat everyone like family, employee them for life, solve all their problems, and see how long you stay in business.
  • OzmodanOzmodan Member EpicPosts: 9,726
    Blizzard's CEO is just a Kotick puppet.  
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