When your company boasts about “record” financial results, most workers would think a bonus is just around the corner, not job cuts.
At the end of last week, Activision reported a 42% increase in revenues to US$6.6bn (2015: US$4.7bn) for the 12 months to 31 December 2016.
Digital sales were a big factor behind the rise, almost doubling over the period US$4.9bn. In fact, Activision made more money from digital sales alone in 2016 than it did in total the year before.
The numbers were impressive, even before the company put them into context: “In 2016, consumers spent approximately 43bn hours playing and watching Activision Blizzard content, on par with Netflix and over one-and-a-half times Snapchat.”
The strong performance wasn’t enough to stop the Activision Publishing division from laying off 5% of its staff.
Employees at the subsidiary's Infinity Ward and Beenox studios – responsible for Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare – were affected, as well as some from the company’s headquarters in Santa Monica.
Twenty of those let go were Call of Duty developers, who possibly paid the price for weaker-than-expected sales of the hit game last year.
The company released a statement which read: “Activision Publishing is realigning our resources to support our upcoming slate and adapt to the accelerating transition to digital, including opportunities for digital add-on content.”
The group’s line-up for the coming year is much smaller than 2016’s, with Destiny 2 and a new Call of Duty game the only confirmed releases so far.