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  1. #1
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    600 Redundancies at Blizzard

    From Develop-Online.net:-
    About sixty redundancies to directly hit development teams; vast majority of cuts to affect other departments.


    World of Warcraft house Blizzard Entertainment is to begin a global downsizing operation that will result in 600 job losses.


    The company claims that about sixty of these redundancies will come directly from game development, while the majority of redundancies will impact on other areas of the business such as customer support.


    Existing development and publishing schedules will not be affected, Blizzard said.


    The mass redundancies come as Blizzard exhausts huge resources to retain World of Warcraft’s gigantic yet gradually declining subscriber numbers.


    “Constant evaluation of teams and processes is necessary for the long-term health of any business, said Blizzard CEO Mike Morhaime.


    He said Blizzard and the industry have needed to evolve in current times, as masses of audiences turn to free-to-play MMOs.


    Well, this is interesting.

  2. #2
    Lesser Hivemind Node Labbes's Avatar
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    Why don't they just do it like Bioware and let 600 people develop DLC? That would be so cool.

  3. #3
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Althea's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Labbes View Post
    Why don't they just do it like Bioware and let 600 people develop DLC? That would be so cool.
    You missed the bit where only 60 people were on development.

    As for Blizzard's redundancies - I'm quite surprised. I'm not sure where all of those 540 are from (some departments have been mentioned/hinted at) but a reduction in customer support? Really? With Diablo 3 on the horizon, Titan in the works and Starcraft 2's expansions/expandalones/WHATEVER coming out? Jeez. Blizzard's CS wasn't perfect, but cutting back is not going to help matters.


  4. #4
    Lesser Hivemind Node Labbes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Althea View Post
    You missed the bit where only 60 people were on development.
    I'm just trolling because I had a bad morning. Sorry.

  5. #5
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    60 people from development is STILL a lot of people.

  6. #6
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Althea's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by R-F View Post
    60 people from development is STILL a lot of people.
    For Blizzard? Probably not, actually.


  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Althea View Post
    For Blizzard? Probably not, actually.
    Considering how development is flagging in all of their games? Err, yes, it is.

  8. #8
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Althea's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by R-F View Post
    Considering how development is flagging in all of their games? Err, yes, it is.
    What I meant was compared to the size of Blizzard's development teams as a whole, 60 people isn't a lot. Their cinematics team for WoW was roughly 123 people strong in 2009 alone.


  9. #9
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Heliocentric's Avatar
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    WoW!

    Eh? Hope the effected have luck getting jobs, they can start a indie development studio and surf off the dying (but still epic) wave of Blizzard's popularity.
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  10. #10
    Lesser Hivemind Node Feldspar's Avatar
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    The law of diminishing returns had to catch up with WoW sooner or later. Blizzard are doing the smart thing and applying efficiency measures before their size becomes a liability, I wouldn't be surprised if this was part of a whole wave of restructuring.

  11. #11
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Kadayi's Avatar
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    Unfortunate. Hopefully as titan progresses there will be opportunities to take some of those people back on.
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  12. #12
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus squirrel's Avatar
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    Actually I have been deeply saddened by such common business practice of the gaming industry for a long time. Jobs are all project based. For a project to be concluded, there are always people to be laid off. In this case, obviously I am referring to Diablo 3. Even if you want to justify this by economic rationality, by organizing a firm you essential replace some of the market mechanism within production procedures by the firm's decision. How can you say you want to save cost then you fire those who have contributed to your profitability, and may not be incapable to generate enough marginal value just for the moment?

    Capitalism is no excuse. Those entrepreneurs are just cheap. If you want to downsize after project conclusion, dont hire people, just outsource your tasks. If you want one night stand, go find hookers, and you deserve to be lonely when you are old.

  13. #13
    Moderator QuantaCat's Avatar
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    What the fuck. People, get something straight here: In NO way, is ANY business forced to keep you in their team. You exist solely to further enhance their winnings. Thats what companies are for. (to greaten the benefit) Whatever benefits you think its supposed to give you, those are the only ones. any others are just lies. Im not being cynical, that is the only reason companies exist. Because if it werent, they would have to keep you indefinitely, just to "keep true to themselves". which is silly and stupid.

    Im a businessman, I intend for anyone I ever employ to know that I am only obligated to keep their services as is stipulated in their contract, and I will get other employees, because I cant imagine anyone wanting to stay at the same position for all times, and I will help them on their way. That being said, I wont just fire people over "OMG THE INTENDED PROFITS R DOWN, MUST BE TEH PEOPLEZ", but I honestly am not bound to anyone but myself. As it should be for everyone.
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  14. #14
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    QuantaCat has a point. He is just being realistic and, purely in business sense, what the development studio is doing is necessary to keep their profit margins. Pure math.
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  15. #15
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Nalano's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by QuantaCat View Post
    What the fuck. People, get something straight here: In NO way, is ANY business forced to keep you in their team. You exist solely to further enhance their winnings. Thats what companies are for. (to greaten the benefit) Whatever benefits you think its supposed to give you, those are the only ones. any others are just lies. Im not being cynical, that is the only reason companies exist. Because if it werent, they would have to keep you indefinitely, just to "keep true to themselves". which is silly and stupid.

    Im a businessman, I intend for anyone I ever employ to know that I am only obligated to keep their services as is stipulated in their contract, and I will get other employees, because I cant imagine anyone wanting to stay at the same position for all times, and I will help them on their way. That being said, I wont just fire people over "OMG THE INTENDED PROFITS R DOWN, MUST BE TEH PEOPLEZ", but I honestly am not bound to anyone but myself. As it should be for everyone.
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  16. #16
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Althea's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mentor07825 View Post
    QuantaCat has a point. He is just being realistic and, purely in business sense, what the development studio is doing is necessary to keep their profit margins. Pure math.
    No. No. Just no. Blizzard is a studio that has games still selling in good numbers ten years post-release, they have an MMO with ~10M subscribers worldwide, and Starcraft 2 is still selling. On top of that they have money from licensing (comics, merchandise, hardware, etc), WoW services (name changes, realm transfers, mounts, etc). Blizzard do not and will not have money problems for many, many years unless they suddenly clear out their bank account.

    They might be streamlining and stuff, but *600* jobs? That's a massive amount of people.


  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by squirrel View Post
    Actually I have been deeply saddened by such common business practice of the gaming industry for a long time. Jobs are all project based.
    Not all of them. Though the ones that are tend to pay higher than they would otherwise precisely because they're temporary, and you know full well what the score is when you take the job. In fact it's usually worse when the project over-runs and they keep you on, because it means you need to turn down whatever you had lined up afterwards (if anything, used to be you could earn around thirty grand working solidly for six months, at which point you took the rest of the year off).

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Althea View Post
    No. No. Just no. Blizzard is a studio that has games still selling in good numbers ten years post-release, they have an MMO with ~10M subscribers worldwide, and Starcraft 2 is still selling. On top of that they have money from licensing (comics, merchandise, hardware, etc), WoW services (name changes, realm transfers, mounts, etc). Blizzard do not and will not have money problems for many, many years unless they suddenly clear out their bank account.

    They might be streamlining and stuff, but *600* jobs? That's a massive amount of people.
    It is, but we have to keep in mind who has control over this. Activision or Blizzard? If they want to maintain their profit margins then they will cut jobs. Blizzard is no longer a private/small studio, and now they have to think of the shareholders, some of whom are quiet possibly investment companies looking for their returns and either stay the same or increase.

    Yes, they have lots of money. That still doesn't mean they are any less of a business than Tesco.
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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Althea View Post
    They might be streamlining and stuff, but *600* jobs? That's a massive amount of people.
    Probably not for them though, especially in terms of support staff. And the number of active WoW players is directly proportional to the number of support staff you need. And even if you can afford it, it's not good to pay people to sit around, or have them break rocks, just because you can.

    Blizzard expanded very aggressively with WoW, and created 1000s of jobs in the process. But even they understand it was a weird phenomenon that they can't recapture.

  20. #20
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Skalpadda's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by QuantaCat View Post
    that is the only reason companies exist.
    I think you're confusing legal and contractual obligations with reason for existing.

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