Activision Blizzard revealed that it was laying off 8% of its workforce, which represents approximately 800 employees. In a call for results, the publisher said that this significant series of layoffs was the result of an underperformance in Q4 2018 and a dismal first half in 2019. The Director of Operations Activision, Coddy Johnson, explained that this decision had been made In other words, although Activision had achieved a record business figure in 2018, it was still not enough to maintain 800 people in employment.
It is always difficult to see another round of layoffs in the revolving door that is the video game industry. But if the magnitude of Activision Blizzard's massive exodus is shocking, the writing was lost as soon as the publisher broke away from Bungie. Until the split of January, destiny remained the only successful intellectual property that Activision had cultivated over the past decade and which was still in the news. Blizzard's games still yield a lot of money, although the company has largely become its own entity under the Activision Blizzard umbrella. Activision's own projects are comparatively mediocre.
Over the past five years, Activision's formations have revealed the gaping hole destinyThe difficulties encountered in the projects of the company. In 2014 and 2015, apart from the big Blizzard launches such as home and The Heroes of the Storm, Activision published disappointing publications such as The amazing Spider-Man 2 and Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 5. In 2016, 17 and 18, its many annual ranges of games releases have been reduced to a maximum of five new games. In 2018, Activision Blizzard only released two new versions in the form of Black Ops 4 and the Trilogy of Spyro Reignited.
It is clear that Activision sought to monetize its existing intellectual property rather than throwing more games into the ether, a popular strategy in the modern gaming industry due to the prevalence of microtransactions. However, the publisher would no doubt have foreseen a greater longevity on the part of Destiny 2, a suite that did not meet expectations. Johnson explained in the appeal that as Activision Blizzard did not have the destiny IP, the company was unable to adopt "new engagement models" or "new sources of revenue". This indicates that it did not take a reduction of destiny"Income from his other property, a loss that would have been offset if Destiny 2 had done as planned.
Major controversy over microtransactions
It also provides a context for Destiny 2"Pernicious microtransactions." The Eververse store in the sequel eventually became a hive of game-modifying items that could be purchased with real money, so much so that Activision / Bungie had to dramatically reduce its impact on gambling. because of adverse consumer reactions, even for a major version, Destiny 2"The implementation of microtransactions was deemed excessive by consumers. At the end of 2018, Johnson expressed the wish to further strengthen the pathways of monetization in Destiny 2, before the possible announcement of the split of Activision and Bungie.
Reading between the lines, it is clear that Activision gets in a position with destiny where it was necessary to generate a significant amount of money to be considered profitable by the investors. As Destiny 2 Underperforming in terms of game sales, separative microtransactions were introduced to increase revenues. Obviously, these revenues were not enough for Activision to continue working with Bungie. However, Activision's short-term vision for its future is the real driver of layoffs.
Activision has not cultivated any new intellectual property in the last five years outside of destiny. The overwhelming emphasis on Call of Duty has remained in place since the revolutionary success of Modern war back in 2007, with Skylanders and Guitar Hero revealing themselves to be relatively short-lived cultural phenomena. Compared to EA and its list of sports titles, and even to Ubisoft with its wide range of reliable franchises, Activision's profits are essentially linked to a franchise and the continued success of Blizzard. This Blizzard is now working on Diablo Immortal, with more mobile games in the pipeline, suggests that Activision's passive approach to the Overwatch Creator's development process is coming to an end.
Activision needs a new destiny
It's not hard to understand why Activision wants Blizzard to increase production in the profitable mobile phone industry. Blizzard basically has a license to print money with its large number of popular franchises, and while focusing on quality rather than quantity is great for consumers, it does not match the exponential growth that companies have always aimed. destiny Activision has been the only one to publish a sliding IP on a bank outside of Blizzard's efforts since 2014, and its inability to establish the relationship with Bungie is a huge and costly mistake.
But that does not mean that Activision is in trouble. He owns candy Crush The King maker, which generated an impressive $ 2 billion in revenue in 2018, was up $ 88 million from the previous year. Overwatch, home, and World of Warcraft to keep the funds in circulation, which allowed the publisher to "achieve" record revenues of $ 7.2 billion in physical and digital sales last year. Given the success of these properties, the announcement of such large job losses is even more difficult to swallow. Activision's failures have nothing to do with the work of its internal development teams, but rather with its narrow focus on intellectual property that it did not own and the aging of the company. Call of Duty franchise.
Johnson noted that development resources previously reserved for destiny would now enter the "greatest opportunities" and "greatest franchises" of the company, although the publisher's prospects for this year are bleak. Call of Duty 2019 is on the radar, but Activision Blizzard shares collapsed after the launch of the Call of Duty: WW2 and Black Ops 4. Despite sustained sales strength, this 15-year-old series is no longer what it was. There are also no major releases on the horizon for Blizzard; Diablo 4Rumor has it that the company's next big game did not even make an appearance at BlizzCon last year.
We do not know exactly what's wrong with the relationship between Activision and Bungie. Although the original destiny had a difficult start, he's built a long and dedicated following over time, and Destiny 2 was well received when it was released. Bungie now flies alone with the destiny IP, we will have to wait for the eventual end Destiny 3 to get a better idea of Activision's degree of involvement in the series. Meanwhile, Activision will have to regroup after the conclusion of his relationship with Bungie early and start turning to a future that does not revolve around him. Call of Duty.