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After conducting a review of its business and analyzing "current organizational needs," Blizzard made the tough call to axe around 600 employees, the game developer and publisher announced this week. Only about 10 percent of those pink slips will be handed out to workers in departments related to game development, and of those roughly 60 workers, none of them will be from the World of Warcraft team.
"Constant evaluation of teams and processes is necessary for the long-term health of any business. 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," said Mike Morhaime, CEO and co-founder of Blizzard Entertainment. "Knowing that, it still does not make letting go of some of our team members any easier. We’re grateful to have had the opportunity to work with the people impacted by today’s announcement, we’re proud of the contributions they made here at Blizzard, and we wish them well as they move forward."
Blizzard made it a point to say that current development and publishing schedules will not change as a result of the layoffs. The company plans to announce a specific release date for Diablo III "in the near future" and will "drive aggressively toward beta testing for World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria, Blizzard DOTA, and StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm."
Mike Morhaime, CEO and co-founder of Blizzard, went into a bit more detail about the layoffs in a blog post. In short, he said Blizzard determined that some areas had simply become "overstaffed." Those being let go will receive a severance package and "other benefits," Morhaime said.