Since Diablo Immortal was infamously announced at BlizzCon 2018, a lot of eyes have been on Blizzard and Activision. While the partnership between the two has long been seen as unique in the respect that both sides didn’t cross over much, that may be in the process of changing in a big way. A second big report from Kotaku’s Jason Schreier has been released, this time focusing on Blizzard undergoing big finance changes through 2018. While there’s no way to know for sure, the report frames the changes as being the result of Activision’s influence.
Yesterday, we reported on Blizzard offering employee buyouts, with dozens of employees in Blizzard’s UK customer support team taking them this year. But that’s not nearly all of it. According to Schreier’s report, the finance department has been beefed up within Blizzard, and any other department that isn’t directly involved with game development has been seeing budget cuts. According to a former employee, Blizzard has been actively looking for ways to cut costs that would avoid negative press coverage, hence the expansion of Blizzard’s Career Crossroads program, which is where the buyouts come from.
Another key part of this is that while cutting costs elsewhere, Blizzard is actively hiring in its game development department. It seems like while cutting overhead costs, Blizzard (assuming everything in this report is true of course) is also planning to games more frequently than it has in the past. At the same time, according to unnamed sources who spoke to Schreier, finance has had much more of a presence in meetings and decision-making than it has before.
Whatever ends up happening with Blizzard, it seems like we’ll be seeing the results sooner rather than later.