Activision Blizzard layoffs lay off laid off fired fire severance package $200 gift cards card Battle.net health insurance benefits

Per Bloomberg, Activision Blizzard has laid off dozens of employees across different departments, with 50 of them being part of esports and live events. Others were laid off from the King.com staff, the developer of Candy Crush. The total layoffs reportedly amount to less than 2% of the Activision Blizzard workforce, which equates to fewer than 190 employees. Those laid off from Activision Blizzard will receive at least 90 days of severance pay, a year of health insurance benefits, and — curiously — $200 gift cards for Battle.net, the famed online gaming platform.

The outlined benefits Activision Blizzard is offering are quite good, all things considered, but the gift cards for Battle.net seem somewhat in poor taste, even if it was almost definitely intended to be just a nice gesture and nothing more. “Please enjoy this gift card for products you are no longer involved with,” sounds a bit, well, off the mark.

The catalysts for the layoffs are the pandemic and the resulting lockdowns, which have pushed the company to shift away from physical, live events like BlizzCon. However, Activision Blizzard still apparently plans to hire 3,000 people over the course of 2021.

On the Nintendo Switch front, the publisher recently released Crash Bandicoot 4: It’s About Time, and Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 and 2 will arrive later this year. More unannounced remasters are in the works as well.

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John Friscia
Head Copy Editor for Enthusiast Gaming, Managing Editor at The Escapist. I'm a writer who loves Super Nintendo and Japanese role-playing games to an impractical degree. I really miss living in South Korea. And I'm developing the game Boss Saga!

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