Layoffs Amidst Financial Success For Activision
Earning around $6.61 billion in revenue, Activision reportedly considered 2016 as its best year ever. The publisher also noted that $4.87 billion came from digital sales, which analysts credited to its acquisition of a mobile developer as one of the factors for its favorable financial performance. However, with the news of its great earnings also come reports of layoffs among some of its workforces across several development studios.
It has been reported that the company has removed around five percent of its employees. These developments studios that were affected by the dismissals include Infinity Ward, Beenox and Treyarch, as indicated by a report from Kotaku. Sources also confirmed that Blizzard Entertainment and MLG were apparently not affected. The company claimed that they were "realigning" resources to focus more support on their transition into digital distribution.
According to some reports about the layoffs, Infinity Ward lost the most people from their team. Apparently, Activision CEO Eric Hirshberg was not happy with how "Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare" performed last year. He stated that the shooter "didn't resonate" with the series' fans. The game was reportedly ridiculed by players during its announcement, while its reveal trailer got more than three million dislikes on YouTube.
It's been speculated that fans hated the sci-fi approach and its outer space setting, which seems strange given that it was labeled as a bestseller for 2016. Meanwhile, the publisher promised to bring its "Call of Duty" franchise "back to its roots" this year. Fans have started to speculate that it might mean a return to another historical war setting, says Game Rant. Analysts noted that the publisher only has "Destiny 2" and the next "COD" game slated for this year.
Players should note that layoffs are sadly a part of reality while working in the video game industry. Nevertheless, it seems strange as to why Activision proceeded with the dismissals after an apparently great year of profits. Fans can only speculate that it was probably due to the negative feedback they received about a particular shooter last year.