Friday, 24 May 2024

Activision Blizzard’s Esports Division Adapts to Changing Landscape

Activision Blizzard, the renowned gaming company behind popular titles like Overwatch and Call of Duty, has recently made adjustments to its esports division. With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic disrupting live events, the company has chosen to pivot away from a heavy reliance on in-person tournaments. This strategic move, which began during the pandemic, is expected to continue post-COVID.

The decision to lay off approximately employees from the esports division was not taken lightly. However, it aligns with Activision Blizzard’s broader strategy to become less dependent on traditional event-centered business models. By diversifying their approach, the company aims to adapt to the changing landscape of esports and ensure long-term sustainability.

Embracing a New Era of Online Play

Esports, like many other industries, has seen significant shifts in the past year. Concerns about safety during the pandemic have led to a reevaluation of flashy on-stage events. Throughout this period, Activision Blizzard has learned valuable lessons about structuring leagues for online play. The company plans to leverage this knowledge and incorporate the best practices into future events.

Tony Petitti, President of Sports and Entertainment at Activision Blizzard, spoke about the decision, stating, “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 the league, owners, teams, and fans best.” While live events will still have a role in the esports landscape, the focus is shifting towards finding a balance between in-person and online experiences.

A Broader Impact and Support for Employees

The layoffs extend beyond the esports division, affecting other areas of Activision Blizzard as well. King, the developer behind the popular game Candy Crush, has also experienced workforce reductions. However, the company is providing support to affected employees by offering a 90-day severance package and continued health benefits for a year following the layoffs.

Additionally, as part of the severance package, all impacted employees will receive a $200 gift card to Battle.net, the launcher for Blizzard games. Activision Blizzard is committed to supporting its employees during this transition and ensuring their well-being beyond their time with the company.

FAQs

1. Will live events completely disappear from Activision Blizzard’s esports scene?

No, live events will still have a role in Activision Blizzard’s esports strategy. However, the company is looking to strike a balance between live and online experiences, leveraging the lessons learned during the pandemic.

2. How will Activision Blizzard ensure the best experience for leagues, owners, teams, and fans?

Activision Blizzard aims to allocate resources strategically based on the evolving needs of the leagues, owners, teams, and fans. The company will incorporate the best practices from online events while optimizing the live event experience.

3. How will employees affected by the layoffs be supported?

Impacted employees will receive a comprehensive severance package, including a 90-day period of support and continued health benefits for one year. Additionally, they will be provided with a $200 gift card to Battle.net as a gesture of appreciation.

Conclusion

Activision Blizzard’s decision to adapt its esports division reflects the changing landscape of the industry. By diversifying their approach and embracing the lessons learned during the pandemic, the company aims to create a sustainable future for its esports leagues and provide the best possible experience for players and fans alike. The strategic shift will lay the groundwork for a new era of esports, where live and online events coexist harmoniously.