According to a recent Bloomberg report, Activision Blizzard’s Versailles, France office will be officially closed. Back in 2019, Activision Blizzard’s French office hired about 400 workers. This French location was responsible for many things, such as handling the press, customer support, localization, and even marketing for the video game publisher’s games in Europe.
However, the future of the office has been significantly shaky as of late due to the company laying off a hefty amount of employees. More specifically, a massive number of 134 workers received their severance packages at the beginning of 2020.
An anonymous source tipped off Bloomberg saying that Activision Blizzard initially planned to move a considerable amount of French employees to the London office. However, this did not go through due to two reasons.
First was the advent of the coronavirus pandemic, which, as you know, required everyone to stay home and self-quarantine. The second reason was the complications brought about by Brexit.
At the moment, we don’t know what will happen to the employees from the French location, and we have yet to wait for Activision Blizzard to make a comment regarding this.
On another note, an investment group that stood as a steward for Activision Blizzard shareholders asserted that CEO Bobby Kotick earns way too much. However, the United States Securities and Exchange Commission clarified the reason for this by saying that Kotick has privileges that authorize him “multiple bites at the apple” due to “multiple, overlapping award provisions.”
In addition to that, some of the bonuses Kotick receives far surpasses the overall pay that many other CEOs in the video game industry receive.
This most recent news of Activision Blizzard’s downsizing came in a timely manner. It’s quite amusing in a sad way how the company has been boasting its “record results” in its earnings reports, yet employees have been protesting the working conditions and the pay inequity.
In August, an Activision Blizzard internal spreadsheet was publicized to the world, revealing how there’s an incredible pay difference between those executives who are at the top of the tower and those employees who are merely working in quality assurance and customer support.
During this time, the U.S. Blizzard employees were sharing and comparing their salary figures and gathered the human workforce together to try and demand not only better treatment, but an increase in pay as well.
Similarly in 2018, a comparable situation occurred when Activision Blizzard dismissed about 800 employees, which was more or less 8% of the company’s staff.
The layoff announcements were made during an earnings call, which is also when the top dogs ironically congratulated themselves for breaking yet another earnings record. It appears that history really does repeat itself.
Many are aware that Activision Blizzard is one of the most successful companies in the industry and this cannot be argued. Based on what we have learned from Activision Blizzard, there is a difference between being ‘extremely successful’ and being ‘merely successful,’ and it appears that the awful exploitation of its workforce is a requirement to become the former.