Dark Clouds at Acti-Blizz

If rumors are true, then today/tomorrow will see some significant cuts at Activision-Blizzard.

The consumer in me is happy that the company is taking a hit.  That is market capitalism at work, where the consumer demand determines the health of a large company.

The human in me is upset that people are going to lose their jobs through no fault of their own.  In larger companies, the cuts are rarely in the correct places (decision makers) and instead point to the lowest level possible.  Well, perhaps a bit less in this case, since both CFOs were fired.  Bobby Kotick is still going to get his $30m+ this year, rather than taking a pay cut.  There are some good people who are going to lose their job, and I hope that they land on their feet quickly.

The gamer in me is mixed.  On one hand, this doesn’t mean that Acti-Blizz is going to actually start making games with gamers in mind – in fact I would argue the opposite.  The whole Destiny 2 roadmap since launch is textbook “how not to make a sequel”.  BfA isn’t doing too hot either – but at least you can buy a literal flying pig.

We’ve lost the battle on MTX.  Outrage for horse armor has been replaced with joy on the Carleton dance.  Most people are ok with cosmetics in the store, it’s simply the price point that is debate point.  I do not believe we’ve lost the battle on lootboxes, rather that this battle is just getting started.  Specifically on the lootboxes that are pure RNG on rewards.  With both Fortnite, PUBG, and now Apex Legends hitting like a meteor in the market, it will be very interesting to see what games currently in the dev pipe end up delivering.

Maybe this will be a wake up call to the industry in general that they need to find a different path.  That the sheer glut of gaming options means people can spend their time/money on quality rather than quantity.  Counting on the horde of locusts to buy a reskin of last year’s game… pretty sure that model is going the way of the dodo.

Best of luck to those impacted by the layoffs.



5 thoughts on “Dark Clouds at Acti-Blizz

  1. “We’ve lost the battle on MTX. Outrage for horse armor has been replaced with joy on the Carleton dance.”

    Hmm. You know, while I’d certainly not characterise myself as ‘joyous’ about the Carleton dance, I am fairly accepting of MTX done in a fair and reasonable way. (Although of course, you couldn’t get too much more subjective on what that looks like if you tried.)

    The greatest loss to me which the Horse Armor seemed to signal was that of the concept of a full expansion pack. They still exist in pockets of course, WoW being the easiest example to point to. Hell, even Destiny 2 got one in the way of Forsaken (although ‘full’ might be a bit of a generous descriptor to apply).

    But the move from big expansions to these tiny bite-size DLCs which were certainly not, generally speaking, an equivalent trade in value are where I still put my grumpy face on a little bit. I have accepted them though I suppose. I just don’t like them. But like with MTX, I think this one a battle that is already lost.

    (Note: Apologies if this is a duplicate! The login process dumped me back out here without a confirmation of ‘Your comment is awaiting moderation’ or similar. Please delete this if it has come through twice!)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The thing that always gets me about these is how they announce to the news first that they are going to lay people off and then leave people hanging to find out if they are affected later. Talk about lack of workers’ rights and generally crappy treatment of employees…

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Pingback: We Lost the Battle on Microtransactions – Time to Loot

  4. The sad part is this is just the beginning. IF the locusts stop buying the annual reskins (as they should) more layoffs will happen.. it will take an awful lot before the C suite gets canned and even then, they are already rich enough it doesn’t matter (and will just land in some other high profile job).

    I have long argued that the gaming industry is an immature industry who gets away with practices other retail / customer service based businesses cannot.

    Liked by 2 people

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