Activision Blizzard has reportedly laid off around 190 of its employees as the company shifts its focus a year into the ongoing global coronavirus pandemic.
Bloomberg shared the news on Wednesday morning (March 17). Per the report, an unnamed source close to the matter shared that the layoffs at the company affected less than two per cent of Activision Blizzard’s total workforce.
The source also shared that around 50 employees who were let go had worked in the esports live events and programming sector. Also laid off were a number of staff at King, the developers of mobile games such as Candy Crush.
A spokesperson for the company said in a statement to Bloomberg: “Players are increasingly choosing to connect with our games digitally and the e-sports team, much like traditional sports, entertainment and broadcasting industries, has had to adapt its business due to the impact the pandemic has had on live events”.
US workers who were laid off will receive a minimum of 90 days of severance and health benefits for up to a year, according to Bloomberg. Each employee that has been laid off was also reportedly given US$200 in gift cards to Battle.net, the company’s online video game storefront.
It was announced in early February that Activision Blizzard is planning to hire up to 3000 people this year, in the production and development sectors. It is currently unclear if those plans have changed following the recent round of layoffs.
Earlier this week, it was announced that Blizzard is working on a new first-person AAA project. The company is looking to hire a small team of developers to build “epic, memorable worlds” for the currently unannounced game.