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It's claimed the company has refused to negotiate with union representatives since announcing the cuts.

Chris Kerr, News Editor

February 19, 2024

2 Min Read
Blizzard's office in Cork, Ireland
Image via Blizzard

Blizzard is reportedly laying off 136 workers in Cork, Ireland. That's according to the Irish Examiner (as spotted by Eurogamer), which also claims the World of Warcraft and Diablo developer is refusing to negotiate with union representatives in the region.

Activision Blizzard was recently acquired by Xbox maker Microsoft for almost $70 billion. A few months after sealing the merger, Microsoft explained it will be cutting 1,900 jobs across its various game divisions.

Blizzard currently has offices in both Cork and Dublin and employs over 400 people across both locations. The Cork office alone reportedly houses over 200 workers, and it looks like over half of those jobs are now at risk.

Irish Tánaiste, Minister for Foreign Affairs, and Minister for Defence, Michael Martin, appeared to confirm the layoffs during a speech in the Dáil (a chamber within the Irish parliament) and described the situation as "very serious."

Mick Barry, member of the People Before Profit party, said Blizzard staff had raised a number of concerns about how the layoff process was being handled and claimed the studio will not "engage with the trade union chosen by these workers to represent them."

"Companies should not be allowed to waltz into this country, announce life-changing cutbacks to people's jobs and simply refuse to talk to the representatives chosen by people who have given long years of service to their employer," Barry added.

Related:Update: Microsoft follows Activision Blizzard merger with 1,900 layoffs

Back in January, a spokesperson for the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment told the Irish Examiner it had received a "collective redundancy notification" in relation to possible layoffs at Blizzard's offices in Ireland.

It's unclear whether these cuts are part of the layoffs previously announced by Microsoft, which are also impacting key Activision Blizzard subsidiaries in California including Call of Duty studios Infinity Ward and Sledgehammer Games and Skylanders developer Toys for Bob.

Game Developer has reached out to Activision Blizzard for more information.

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About the Author(s)

Chris Kerr

News Editor, GameDeveloper.com

Game Developer news editor Chris Kerr is an award-winning journalist and reporter with over a decade of experience in the game industry. His byline has appeared in notable print and digital publications including Edge, Stuff, Wireframe, International Business Times, and PocketGamer.biz. Throughout his career, Chris has covered major industry events including GDC, PAX Australia, Gamescom, Paris Games Week, and Develop Brighton. He has featured on the judging panel at The Develop Star Awards on multiple occasions and appeared on BBC Radio 5 Live to discuss breaking news.

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