Activision Layoffs and New Studios

Activision Blizzard Layoffs

News of massive layoffs hit the games industry like a gut punch earlier this week. On Tuesday, Activision Blizzard announced that they were laying off 8% of their total staff (estimated at around 800 jobs). The news was followed up immediately with the company’s fourth quarter earnings call in which they touted 2018 as a record-setting year for revenue, but one that ultimately fell short of their expectations. CEO Bobby Kotick said, “While our financial results for 2018 were the best in our history, we didn’t realize our full potential.” The timing and tone of the message added to the frustration that many in the industry felt towards the company. Regardless of how the message was delivered, the reality is still this – close to 800 people and their families are now dealing with the uncertainty that comes with losing their jobs. We wish all of them the best of luck in their new job search.

New Studios

There has also been some more uplifting industry news in the past couple of weeks! There have been recent announcements about not one, but two US game studios setting up additional locations across the border in Canada. Both of these independent studios have carved out strong positions in competitive markets, and are now looking to grow by accessing new talent pools in additional locations. In addition to the two new Canadian studios, there is also a new company that has popped up in a unique location – Las Cruces, New Mexico. Let’s take a look at the new studios:

  • New World Interactive is the developer of the Insurgency franchise, and they’ve been operating out of Denver, CO since 2010. They recently announced that they’re opening up their second location in Calgary. Their announcement post says they’re targeting May 15th to officially open, and will be looking to fill several roles in the very near future.
  • Certain Affinity is a developer based out of Austin, TX that has worked on franchises like HaloWorld of Tanks, and Call of Duty. They are now looking to expand their capabilities by opening a second studio in Toronto. They’ve got several positions listed on their site for both the new Toronto office and their original office in Austin.
  • Ganymede Games is a small new independent developer based in an unusual spot for the games industry – Las Cruces, NM. The team is made up of veterans from studios like Riot Games, Activision, id Software, and Wargaming, and they’re looking to add more people to the team. Check out the job openings they’ve currently got listed on their site.

Featured image courtesy of Activision Blizzard.