On February 12th, the video game development world was thrown for a loop when Activision Blizzard, the company behind successful series such as Call of Duty, Overwatch, and World of Warcraft, announced that they were laying off around 800 employees, despite what Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick referred to as “record results” for the company throughout 2018.
The announcement has raised considerable discussions about the industry, from unionizing video game developers to higher-ups in these major companies taking massive paychecks and bonuses that some argue are unnecessary; a common example that’s been cited is the former Nintendo president Satoru Iwata taking a large pay cut in 2014 to preserve the jobs of the developers after an abysmal year for the company, although how much good this would have done in Kotick’s case is strongly up for debate.
The situation itself gathered much attention, with employees frequently commenting about how they would go into the office every day with no idea with what was going to happen. As the layoffs came rolling in, those who were affected took to Twitter, where they were embraced with support from across the globe.
The community was quick to jump in and provide resources and job opportunities to help as many of the people affected as possible.
While the prospect of getting work at another AAA studio is shrinking — with companies merging, the opportunities aren’t as abundant, and some would require people to move across the continent or even the globe — there are plenty of small indie studios that are gaining traction and can offer competitive pay and intriguing work. These layoffs were a smack in the face to many, and it’s raising many important questions about the industry as a whole, but we have full faith that those were hit by these events will find fulfilling opportunities elsewhere.