Game company Activision Blizzard has reportedly been laying off approximately 50 employees from its eSports division just recently.
According to media outlet Game Informer, the employees were laid off partly due to the ongoing global pandemic. This has resulted in the lack of live events, which in turn gives them nothing to do unfortunately.
The game company has recently decided to shift its focus away from live events, even after the pandemic has died down.
Activision Blizzard President of Sports and Entertainment Tony Petitti has confirmed that the divisions that were impacted the most were the Overwatch and Call of Duty leagues. He added that this is just part of a larger shift regarding how the company tackles its event-centered business. This is part of their strategy to become less dependent on social gathering types.
Live events will not go away forever, but it will not be the focus anymore. The global pandemic has kind of influenced this decision too.
“We learned a lot last year in terms of how the leagues can be structured for online play, and we’ll look to carry forward the best practices from that,” said the president during the interview. “In terms of timing, it’s a reaction to the realities of how the leagues are playing and what resources we need to allocate to serve best the league, owners, teams, and fans.”
Petitti noted that the decision to lay off the 50 employees was not an easy thing to do for them.
Another report from media outlet Bloomberg suggest that the layoffs will not just affect the eSports division. A spokesperson kind of confirmed that other areas have been affected like the Candy Crush developer King. No specific number of employees laid off were reported.