There's sour news out of Irvine this morning, as Activision Blizzard subsidiary Blizzard Entertainment announced that it will reduce its global workforce by 600 employees. The company noted that 10 percent of its staff cuts--or about 60 people--were actively involved in game development.
Blizzard was quick to point out that the World of Warcraft development team will not be impacted by the staff reductions. The company's massively popular massively multiplayer online role-playing game has struggled in the past year, slipping to 10.2 million subscribers through the end of December.
"Constant evaluation of teams and processes is necessary for the long-term health of any business," said Blizzard CEO Mike Morhaime. "Over the last several years, we've grown our organization tremendously and made large investments in our infrastructure in order to better serve our global community. However, as Blizzard and the industry have evolved we've also had to make some difficult decisions in order to address the changing needs of our company."
Blizzard went on to note that its development and publishing schedule has not been impacted by the staff cuts. Currently, the company expects to announce a release date for Diablo III in the near future, indicating that development on the game is nearing completion. The company is also at work on the WOW expansion Mists of Pandaria, Blizzard DOTA, and Starcraft II: Heart of the Swarm.
At last month's DICE Summit, Blizzard EVP of product development Frank Pearce indicated that the company's global workforce stood at 4,700 employees. Blizzard had not responded to a request for comment on the company's current workforce size or whether today's move was related to Diablo III's development schedule as of press time.