Wednesday, February 29, 2012

WoW developer Blizzard Entertainment to lay off 600

As reported by Develop (Blizzard to axe 600 jobs) and Gamasutra (Blizzard cuts 600 employees in organizational shift):

Blizzard Entertainment will lay off around 600 employees -- around 90 percent of which will come from its non-development departments -- after completing a review of its "current organizational needs."

According to Gamasutra's numbers, that cuts Blizzard's workforce from roughly 5600 to around 5000.

Even though it's mostly overhead, that's still 60 developers. Gamasutra reports:

Blizzard says its World of Warcraft team will not be impacted, nor will its development and publishing schedules for upcoming releases like Diablo III, StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm, Blizzard DOTA, and its Mists of Pandaria expansion for World of Warcraft.

Not mentioned as exempt from the cuts were the in-development Titan MMO project or the online gaming service.

Although it's not mentioned, World of Warcraft's falling subscription numbers must be a factor.

This is the surest sign yet that WoW has peaked and, while still a powerhouse, has entered a period of decline.

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