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Mr Tony

Activision announces record results. Fires 800 people

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Bit fucked isn't it. Activisions financial results in 2018 were the best in its history. Records across the board. Turns out it wasn't "the best ever year" enough, and they're now laying off nearly 10% of the company. 

 

Thankfully staff are being offered severance packages rather than being told to just fuck off, but it shows some of the massive issues that companies have. There's still growth, it was record growth, but it wasn't enough growth.

 

https://kotaku.com/activision-blizzard-begins-massive-layoffs-1832571288

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8 minutes ago, Mr Tony said:

There's still growth, it was record growth, but it wasn't enough growth.

 

I know nothing about this particular situation, but based on previous experience it wouldn't surprise me if the issue is that they told investors they were going to earn more than they actually did (I guess they didn't reckon with Fortnite); and not that there wasn't enough growth to sustain the business. 

 

Several jobs ago I left a company right before they announced a bunch of layoffs. The layoffs removed a lot of accounting costs, so they sent the message to investors that the company was 'focusing'; but it didn't actually affect the cash costs significantly. For example, they made one trilingual guy redundant. This guy had been working on projects that involved stakeholders from three different countries. When they laid him off they saved the relatively small expense of his salary but the much larger fixed cost of renting the office space he had been using remained, and they then had to hire a freelance translator for business meetings which probably cost them the same amount as just hiring a trilingual specialist. 

 

That is why they pay management the big bucks. 

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They don't even have Destiny anymore.

 

Modern Warfare 2 Remastered is the only Activision product I would buy. What they call COD nowadays is more like action figures shooting nerf guns and I have no interest in it whatsoever.

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Scathing letter by one of the guys let go

 

https://www.fanbyte.com/trending/kiss-my-ass-activision-blizzard/

 

Quote

Of course, Activision Blizzard is not a one-man show. Today’s record proceeds and layoffs are a badge on the lapel of everyone in senior corporate management. I’m sure you all worked tirelessly to ensure that the immeasurable chain reaction of human suffering caused by today’s events is only as big as was necessary… to meet a completely arbitrary profit goal. After all, something had to be done in order to counteract the “weaker than anticipated retail demand” that President/COO Coddy Johnson mentioned on today’s call.

 

*Edit*

 

First response on the website? Of course it's this

 

It’s not the companies responsibility to take care of you.

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I know that Activision make some of the biggest games out there. But in an entertainment medium where there is so much supply of high quality products I will certainly be less inclined to but Activision games in the future, without it having any impact on me. I am perfectly happy to play Generic Shooter 2019 from a company who have not just shafted their employees instead of supporting Bobby's next multi-million bonus.

 

If the company was struggling then one could understand. But they are not. And they probably owe a lot of their success to the hard work (including unpaid overtime) from the 800 employees who are being told to clear their desks.

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I don't know when I last bought an Activision game. Not for years, I'm sure.

 

But now they're publishing Sekiro, which is by far my most anticipated game of the year, and the thought of sending any money their way at this time is pretty repulsive. 

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1 hour ago, Flub said:

 

First response on the website? Of course it's this

 

It’s not the companies responsibility to take care of you.

 

Ugh. People are so dumb.

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27 minutes ago, BadgerFarmer said:

I don't know when I last bought an Activision game. Not for years, I'm sure.

 

But now they're publishing Sekiro, which is by far my most anticipated game of the year, and the thought of sending any money their way at this time is pretty repulsive. 

 

The second hand market beckons.

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I'll have to buy Sekiro (not like they can summarily fire everyone at From at least ), but it's somewhat countered by the fact that I haven't bought any Activision products in forever and never paid them a dime in microtransactions. 

 

I do wonder how From ended up developing for them though... such a weird pairing.

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1 minute ago, Kayin Amoh said:

I do wonder how From ended up developing for them though... such a weird pairing.

 

51KXBNSFJ1L._SX342_.jpg

 

both teams must still have contacts in place. It's kinda weird that both Activision and Sega published Tenchu titles back in the day, yet both missed out on publishing Souls in the euro market.

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5 minutes ago, Down by Law said:

 

51KXBNSFJ1L._SX342_.jpg

 

both teams must still have contacts in place. It's kinda weird that both Activision and Sega published Tenchu titles back in the day, yet both missed out on publishing Souls in the euro market.

 

Holy shit. I didn't know Tenchu was published by Activision.

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I've 'paid' for Sekiro already, but considering I used XBox credit I got from the Rewards scheme, it never actually cost me any money. So at least technically, I haven't given Activision anything. 

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I used to work for the internal agency of one of the Silicon Valley big boys... After an email celebrating 70 billion in profits.. the next one my team had 15 minutes later was that there were going to be significant changes. Then they informed all 250 people they had been sacked. On Dec 1st too.

 

Was this down to poor management in our team? No at all, we were busier and in more demand than ever. It came down to some Game Of Thrones style manoeuvring and resentment - at the VP and CMO level. Literally personality clashes cost everyone their job. At a certain size, a lot of these companies are really dysfunctional but also seemingly too big to fail.

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4 hours ago, Pixelbark said:

Just posted this in the dead pool thread, but may as well link it here.

 

 

In short, the videogames industry NEEDS to unionise.

 

Can you add a warning that its Jim Sterling.

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Here's how much the fat cats at the top were taking home (as of 2017, some of the names may have changed since, no doubt the figures are even more now). This doesn’t include bonuses and stock options as far as I'm aware.

 

Bobby Kotick (CEO) - $28,698,375 (306x the median Activision worker salary at the time fact fans)

Michael Morhaime (President and CEO - Blizzard) - $12,307,181

Dennis Durkin (Chief Corporate Officer) - $5,802,145

Ricardo Zacconi (CEO - King) - $14,799,676

Collister Johnson (Chief Operating Officer) - $11,199,440

Spencer Neumann (Chief Financial Officer) - $9,465,807

 

Ol' Dennis Durkin was recently given a $15 million bonus, that they ensured was pushed through before they announced their results and started firing people.

 

 

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4 minutes ago, gooner4life said:

Buy on the Japanese/Hong Kong stores and acti aren’t publishers

I mean if all forums across the globe do this it won't matter a thing but that's a good shout nonetheless. I'll see if I can get it on PC from a region where Acti aren't publishing. 

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42 minutes ago, Dig Dug said:

This kind of thing really makes the wage cuts for Nintendo board members during the wii u years really stand out. Nintendo heads halved their wages so they wouldn't let people go. Activation heads let people go during good times so they could double theirs.

 

This sort of narrative is a bit naive. It's ok to like Mario and Zelda more than COD but Nintendo aren't some worker cooperative.

 

https://kotaku.com/nintendo-of-europe-will-lay-off-320-people-this-month-1627924242

 

I'm not saying Activision's behavior is ok (I don't think it is), but did the Rockstar working practices stuff before RDR2 stop anyone from buying it? Does nintendo laying people off stop people buying Mario etc?

 

People on forums love to get worked up about boycotting games they probably had low/no interest in anyway, Fallout 76 or the latest COD but the unfortunate fact for those workers is that gamers buy games they want to play, regardless of how the companies treat their staff. I'm sure the companies are well aware of this.

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18 minutes ago, partious said:

What happened with the board cuts was a concern of Nintendo of Japan. Nintendo of Europe, while owned by Nintendo, still operates as its own subsidiary much like Sega of America used to with Sega of Japan and much like how Square Enix Europe (Eidos) does with Square Enix. Europe has always been Nintendo's weakest region, layoffs there during that period would have been unavoidable. Incidentally the UK official Nintendo magazine folded a few months after such was the state of Nintendo in the european market at the time.

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4 hours ago, gossi the dog said:

Are people going to continue to spend loads of money on Call of Duty, Destiny and Candy Crush?

 

... yes?

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https://www.fanbyte.com/trending/kiss-my-ass-activision-blizzard/

 

Quote

Dear Bobby, Dennis, Coddy, Brian, Chris, et al.,

As a former Activision Blizzard employee, allow me to congratulate you all on posting a record $7.5 billion net revenue for the calendar year 2018, and on upending the lives of some 800 human beings that helped make that incredible feat possible.

I was working as an In-Game Support Representative (also known as a “Game Master”) in Blizzard’s World of Warcraft customer support department when the Activision/Vivendi merger finalized in the summer of 2008. While many of us were concerned about Activision’s potential influence on Blizzard’s sacred creative freedom, many fears were assuaged by management’s generous gift of a free copy of Guitar Hero: Aerosmith for the Wii.

Of course, the hundreds of us who were considered temporary full-time employees did not receive any “perks” like free Aerosmith games, despite doing the same work as full-time regular employees, just at $9 an hour instead of $11. Don’t you worry, though! I persevered and eventually earned my place as a full-time Blizzard employee — $11 an hour and everything — and was even allowed to attend the annual Blizzard Christmas party, which temporary full-time employees were barred from. Trading in my purple employee badge for a red one was one of the proudest moments of my young life.

Now, more than 10 years later, Activision Blizzard’s strength in the video game industry is unquestionable, and Blizzard has gone on to release some of its best games ever. How foolish we were to be so worried! Even when 600 of my former coworkers and friends were laid off in 2012, many of them were hired back on as temps, and were allowed to continue doing their jobs at a lower wage and without benefits. It’s shrewd business decisions like these, which embraced Blizzard’s core values of “Play Nice; Play Fair” and “Lead Responsibly,” that enabled today’s record earnings, a nine percent dividend increase for shareholders, and catastrophic layoffs.

As Bobby so eloquently put it in the earnings report, Activision Blizzard is capable of reaching its “full potential” thanks to the company’s “powerful owned franchises, our strong commercial capabilities, our direct digital connections to hundreds of millions of players, and our extraordinarily talented employees.”

Indeed, it’s clear that the senior executive staff at Activision Blizzard ranks its owned IPs chiefly among its assets. Although it considers the human labor that created those IPs to be the least valuable. Thus, today’s layoffs focused on “non-development roles,” according to Bobby, which means that the 800-or-so people liquidated were likely among the company’s lowest earners — contractors and temporary full-time employees striving without insurance (but with plenty of free soda!) to achieve full-time regular status, as I once did. People who are the most vulnerable to economic change; who have the least financial resources; who are the least secure of anyone in Activision Blizzard.

I am grateful, at least, that you are not in a similarly precarious financial situation, Bobby. The $28.6 million you made in 2017  (which just happens to be 29 times greater than what my 40-year lifetime earnings would have been as a Game Master for $11 an hour) should help keep your portfolio well insulated.

Never mind the fact that you continue to show the strength of character necessary to upend hundreds and hundreds of human lives, repeatedly, in order to ensure that Activision Blizzard’s shareholders continue to see dividend increases year after year. On today’s earnings call, during which your company announced its historic $7.5 billion in net revenue, you said that today’s layoffs were among your “top-five career-difficult moment,” and I believe you. Figuring out just how many people to axe in order to maintain income levels for the chief executive staff and shareholders must have been a logistical nightmare.

Of course, Activision Blizzard is not a one-man show. Today’s record proceeds and layoffs are a badge on the lapel of everyone in senior corporate management. I’m sure you all worked tirelessly to ensure that the immeasurable chain reaction of human suffering caused by today’s events is only as big as was necessary… to meet a completely arbitrary profit goal. After all, something had to be done in order to counteract the “weaker than anticipated retail demand” that President/COO Coddy Johnson mentioned on today’s call.

This is a business, as I’m sure you’re aware. And while the leaders of some corporations may halve their own pay multiple times in order to indemnify the consequences of their own decisions, those leaders run foreign companies, operating under cultural ideals diametric to our own. This is America, and you all are exploring the possibilities enabled and encouraged by the capitalist teachings that underscore every moment of our lives. Each and every one of you stands as a first-rate example of what capitalism enables, as do the hundreds of families that no longer know where their next meal is coming from. In this way, are we not all truly equal?

Again, congratulations on your monumental achievement and the hugely successful blood sacrifice that enabled it.

All my best,

Jordan Mallory, aka Game Master Airuvol

P.S. Based on his performance in today’s call, Dennis definitely seems worth the $15 million. Good get!

 

 

EDIT: Unsure why it’s striking through some text when I copy and paste.

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