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King's San Francisco studio closed in wake of Activision Blizzard layoffs

The large scale layoffs made by Activision-Blizzard yesterday have caused the closure of King’s San Fransisco office.

Alissa McAloon, Publisher

February 13, 2019

2 Min Read

Activision Blizzard-owned King has shut down two of its U.S.-based studios following yesterday’s news that Activision-Blizzard initiated mass layoffs that ultimately affect 8 percent of the company’s overall workforce

A report yesterday said that the King-owned mobile game studio Z2Live was shutting down as a result of Activision Blizzard’s restructuring plans, resulting in the loss of 78 jobs. The Swedish website Breakit has since confirmed that closure and found that King's San Francisco studio is shutting down as well.

“We considered that the right thing for King is to run a studio network in Europe, to give us much greater focus in our game development. The teams in the US have fantastic creative and talented people working with them, but we believe that this decision is the right one to fulfill our long-term strategy,” reads a translation of King communications manager Charley Tesch's comments to Breakit.

“We make these difficult decisions so that we can grow in a sustainable way. We believe that these changes will enable us to do just that and are convinced of our approach. We make this decision to give us a much stronger focus on developing good gaming concepts throughout our European studio network.”

Rumors of coming Activision Blizzard layoffs in the hundreds first circulated last week, and the company made that decision official in an earnings call yesterday shortly after announcing that the company saw record earnings that quarter. A restructuring effort sees 8 percent of the company’s overall workforce laid off, making for an estimated 800 developers affected. 

Those layoffs seek to, in the words of CEO Bobby Kotick, fund a 20 percent increase in developers directly working on Call of Duty, Candy Crush, Overwatch, Warcraft, Hearthstone, and Diablo by “de-prioritizing initiatives that are not meeting expectations” and reducing administrative positions and certain other deemed to “non-development” roles across its studios.

About the Author(s)

Alissa McAloon

Publisher, GameDeveloper.com

As the Publisher of Game Developer, Alissa McAloon brings a decade of experience in the video game industry and media. When not working in the world of B2B game journalism, Alissa enjoys spending her time in the worlds of immersive sandbox games or dabbling in the occasional TTRPG.

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