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Activision Pressuring Blizzard to Cut Costs?

An article on Kotaku talks about cost-cutting measures at Blizzard Entertainment, saying these are the result of the growing influence of corporate overlords Activision. They discuss attempts to reduce headcounts in back-office staff without raising alarm, though they note Blizzard is still expanding some development teams. They also recall their recent report indicating the developer is under pressure to produce more games while cutting costs, more recent news of cuts in support for Heroes of the Storm, and a story just today that Blizzard is closing its support center in Ireland. They conclude reporting that rumors swirl that layoffs may come after the new year:
And among Blizzard staff and close observers, rumors have circulated about potential layoffs in the new year. The game development teams are seen as safe—the mandate is to make more games, after all—but those at other departments are worried about what might be coming when 2019 arrives.

To look at Activision and Blizzard is to see two companies that, for over a decade, have followed connected but very different models. Under Bobby Kotick, Activision has found success through annual releases of games like Call of Duty and, until recently, Skylanders. Meanwhile, under co-founder and longtime CEO Mike Morhaime, Blizzard has marched at its own pace, sticking with old games for the long haul and releasing new ones whenever the company felt like they were ready. Blizzard has gone years without releasing a brand new game, while Activision hasn’t let a fall go by without a new Call of Duty since 2004.

Now, Morhaime is gone, and Activision appears to have more influence on Blizzard than it ever has. Will Blizzard’s games-as-a-service, release-it-when-it’s-ready approach to development survive these new changes? It might take years before we know the answers, but some Blizzard employees—and many fans—are concerned about what they might be. The influences of a major corporation can be subtle and sometimes impossible to discern.

“Blizzard is a special place,” said one former employee. “A lot of people are worried about the future of Blizzard—if the Activision method seeps in more, what that’s going to become.”
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19. Re: Morning Tech Bits Dec 23, 2018, 05:40 Mordecai Walfish
 
Osc8r wrote on Dec 22, 2018, 20:30:
CJ_Parker wrote on Dec 22, 2018, 09:37:
Not sure why people here pretend like we're losing a quality dev if Blizztard needs to cut costs(?)

They have always been the kings of casual gaming and mainstream casualization. If Blizzard should die that would be fantastic news because other devs will then stop trying to copy lame casual Blizztard clickfests and even lamer monetization fests.

Bottom line is we need more CD Projekts and more Larian Studios in our gaming lives and less Blizztards or devs aspiring to mimic Blizztard.

Amen.

Hit the nail on the head. Blizzard isnt the company that we all get nostalgic over when we think of their great past titles, although their marketing does a good job of convincing the uninitiated otherwise.
 
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18. Re: Activision Pressuring Blizzard to Cut Costs? Dec 22, 2018, 20:30 Osc8r
 
CJ_Parker wrote on Dec 22, 2018, 09:37:
Not sure why people here pretend like we're losing a quality dev if Blizztard needs to cut costs(?)

They have always been the kings of casual gaming and mainstream casualization. If Blizzard should die that would be fantastic news because other devs will then stop trying to copy lame casual Blizztard clickfests and even lamer monetization fests.

Bottom line is we need more CD Projekts and more Larian Studios in our gaming lives and less Blizztards or devs aspiring to mimic Blizztard.

Amen.
 
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17. Re: etc. Dec 22, 2018, 19:18 deqer
 
Hey, if they were partying too much and slacking, then yeah, lay them off.  
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16. Re: Activision Pressuring Blizzard to Cut Costs? Dec 22, 2018, 12:18 Cutter
 
Once the bean counters have their way it's pretty much over.
 
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"Don't get drawn into the culture, Morty. Stealing stuff is about the stuff, not the stealing."
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15. Re: Activision Pressuring Blizzard to Cut Costs? Dec 22, 2018, 11:22 HorrorScope
 
Most of us are slaves to the stock market and I can already see ripples of another round of tightening all over due to this past major dip in the market, my company included. Up over 150 million more this qtr year over year, after the CEO just recently said the future looks brighter than ever and it did before the tariffs really started to kick in, all of a sudden cost restrictions and more have hit us within the past month. We are not alone. The gap between rich and poor will widen even more if you can believe that possible. You start losing 25%+ of your stock market worth... you got to start doing something to looks sexy again, this is all they know. Cut. We'll have bigger problems than gamemaker cuts.  
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14. Re: Activision Pressuring Blizzard to Cut Costs? Dec 22, 2018, 10:39 Jivaro
 
lol...as if Activision hasn't been pressuring Blizzard to cost costs and any number of other things the entire time.  
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13. Re: Activision Pressuring Blizzard to Cut Costs? Dec 22, 2018, 09:37 CJ_Parker
 
Not sure why people here pretend like we're losing a quality dev if Blizztard needs to cut costs(?)

They have always been the kings of casual gaming and mainstream casualization. If Blizzard should die that would be fantastic news because other devs will then stop trying to copy lame casual Blizztard clickfests and even lamer monetization fests.

Bottom line is we need more CD Projekts and more Larian Studios in our gaming lives and less Blizztards or devs aspiring to mimic Blizztard.
 
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12. Re: Activision Pressuring Blizzard to Cut Costs? Dec 22, 2018, 09:33 HoSpanky
 
In terms of WoW, Legion was truly amazing, felt like maybe they’d found their way again. But BfA is just SO disappointing...we finished the leveling campaign and then went back to Legion for the final section we’d been unsubbed for. It’s far more compelling. They added a new continent, on another planet, at the very end of that expansion. It’s a ridiculous amount of “bonus” content, which was what Legion felt like the entire time...”more content than you’d expect out of two expansions”.

BfA feels like interns designed the entire thing. I’d happily preorder Warcraft 3’s remake if I wasn’t seriously concerned about it feeling...”off”.
 
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11. Re: Activision Pressuring Blizzard to Cut Costs? Dec 22, 2018, 07:56 Luke
 
recall2000 wrote on Dec 22, 2018, 02:01:
Creston wrote on Dec 21, 2018, 21:36:
Fucking suits and their idiocy. The amount of assholes that have failed upward in the US is truly staggering.

Believe me, the US doesn't have a monopoly on that; the UK business world is full of c**ts in charge that think they know best because they have "manager" in their job title. Pretty sure you could ask anyone from anywhere and it would be a similar story :/

Suits is the root for all decline, in everything
 
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10. Re: Activision Pressuring Blizzard to Cut Costs? Dec 22, 2018, 03:44 Muscular Beaver
 
recall2000 wrote on Dec 22, 2018, 02:01:
Creston wrote on Dec 21, 2018, 21:36:
Fucking suits and their idiocy. The amount of assholes that have failed upward in the US is truly staggering.

Believe me, the US doesn't have a monopoly on that; the UK business world is full of c**ts in charge that think they know best because they have "manager" in their job title. Pretty sure you could ask anyone from anywhere and it would be a similar story :/
Blizzard North did Diablo 2. They pretty much died after Diablo 2, yes. Only very few of them stayed at Blizzard.
Blizzard went through a lot of such phases. Another was 2008 when the Activision merger happened. The next thing coming out from them was Cataclysm in 2010, which felt as if a completely new development team had taken over WoW.
Blizzard have only been disappointing for me since then. Not holding my breath for anything good coming from them anymore.
 
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About to give up on waiting for BIS to come back to their senses and do a real ArmA 2 successor.
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9. Re: Morning Consolidation Dec 22, 2018, 03:32 Suppa7
 
AirWreck wrote on Dec 21, 2018, 20:09:
This is disappointing but not surprising. There will be a new Blizzard someday I hope.

Blizzard died after diablo 2. World of warcraft was a giant fuckup and reconned the lore of the RTS. World of warcraft was the worst thing to happen to blizzard. It put Starcraft, diablo and warcraft (rts) sequels on the backburner.

When SC2 and diablo 3 emerged, they were made by radically different teams and you could tell the magic was gone. Starcraft 2 was the most conservative RTS release in history. Starcraft 1 let's remember was a cutting edge game, SC2 was nothing of the sort.
 
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8. Re: Activision Pressuring Blizzard to Cut Costs? Dec 22, 2018, 02:01 recall2000
 
Creston wrote on Dec 21, 2018, 21:36:
Fucking suits and their idiocy. The amount of assholes that have failed upward in the US is truly staggering.

Believe me, the US doesn't have a monopoly on that; the UK business world is full of c**ts in charge that think they know best because they have "manager" in their job title. Pretty sure you could ask anyone from anywhere and it would be a similar story :/
 
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Despite being 5% sugar, baked beans are still the healthiest, tinned, processed food - The "Did You Know" column, The Daily Mirror, c.1980
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7. Re: Activision Pressuring Blizzard to Cut Costs? Dec 22, 2018, 01:53 El Pit
 
What I said years ago when Acti bought Blizz is getting closer: Call of Diablo - every year a new "game".  



"There is no right life in the wrong one." (Theodor W. Adorno, philosopher)
"Only a Sith deals in absolutes." (Obi-Wan Kenobi, Jedi)
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6. Re: Activision Pressuring Blizzard to Cut Costs? Dec 21, 2018, 23:56 Red886
 
imo, Blizzard never was past Diablo 2  
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5. Re: Activision Pressuring Blizzard to Cut Costs? Dec 21, 2018, 22:23 jdreyer
 
Mike's retirement was the beginning of the end for Blizzard. Thanks for the good times, Bliz. You were one of the best.  
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"Blizzard fucked up what should have been the easiest pile of free money ever." - NKD
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4. Re: Activision Pressuring Blizzard to Cut Costs? Dec 21, 2018, 21:36 Creston
 
"Blizzard has been doing great without our guidance, and is making us billions of dollars."

"Unacceptable! Meddle like fuck and make them start doing literally exactly the opposite of what's made them successful!"

Fucking suits and their idiocy. The amount of assholes that have failed upward in the US is truly staggering.
 
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3. Re: Morning Consolidation Dec 21, 2018, 21:29 RedEye9
 
AirWreck wrote on Dec 21, 2018, 20:09:
This is disappointing but not surprising. There will be a new Blizzard someday I hope.
Brazor wrote on Dec 21, 2018, 20:23:
They should have never let themselves go public. I've always felt that the extra money isn't worth the restrictions.
BQFT

both quoted for truth
 
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2. Re: Morning Consolidation Dec 21, 2018, 20:23 Brazor
 
They should have never let themselves go public. I've always felt that the extra money isn't worth the restrictions.  
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1. Re: Morning Consolidation Dec 21, 2018, 20:09 AirWreck
 
This is disappointing but not surprising. There will be a new Blizzard someday I hope.  
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