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Blizzard Cuts ~600 Staff

Blizzard Entertainment announces "staff reductions," as they are cutting approximately 600 positions, saying that: "The company anticipates approximately 90% of the affected employees will come from departments not related to game development," and that: "The World of Warcraft development team will not be impacted." The World of Warcraft Forums (thanks Joao via PC Gamer) have a message from Mike Morhaime with more on this. Here's a portion:

After evaluating our current organizational needs, we determined that while some areas of our business had been operating at the right levels and could benefit from further growth, other areas had become overstaffed. As a result, we need to scale down some of our departments and part with some of our colleagues and friends here at Blizzard. I know that you all understand how difficult this type of situation can be for anyone who might be affected, so I want to assure you that we'll be offering each impacted employee a severance package and other benefits.

I also want to emphasize that we remain committed to shipping multiple games this year, and that our development teams in particular remain largely unaffected by today's announcement. We're continuing to develop, iterate, and polish Blizzard DOTA, Diablo III, StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm, World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria, as well as other, unannounced projects. We'll have exciting news to share in the coming weeks regarding Diablo III's release date, and will soon be holding a private media event to showcase the latest work on Mists of Pandaria. It goes without saying that we're working hard to get all of these games in your hands as soon as possible.

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6. Re: Blizzard Cuts ~600 Staff Feb 29, 2012, 14:35 Antdude
 
I agree these cuts would mostly come from customer support, but don't take this as a sign that WoW is dying. WoW is not dying. Keep in mind, back in 2004-2006, Blizzard was trying to keep up with the explosive growth and demands of WoW. Hiring was at a fever pitch. I remember the worldwide launch of Burning Crusade and being impressed with the number of people and resources being put into the effort. Good times.

Now, with more experience with the process and with subscriber numbers plateauing, Blizzard has a better plan for managing their growth, so the need for so many CS people is simply not so great anymore. Although I do wonder at the timing, as I agree that Diablo 3's launch will bring its own frenzy of issues, especially with the RMAH.

In any case, I feel for any of the employees let go, since it seems like working at Blizzard would be a dream job(if I could just get that job in the cinematics dept!).
 
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