Report: Call of Duty publisher Actvision Blizzard to shut down French office

UPDATE Activision Blizzard is shutting down its office in Versailles, France, and laying off a number of staff.

Activision Blizzard is shutting down its office in Versailles, France, after plans to relocate the site collapsed.

As reported by Bloomberg, which has spoken with three people "familiar with the plans," the Call of Duty and World of Warcraft publisher had originally planned to move half of the Versailles team to London, but has now decided to shut down the site after those plans fell through due to Brexit and the COVID-19 pandemic.

The office, which among other things handled marketing, customer support, and localization, reportedly employed around 400 people as of early 2019, but that number has dwindled over the past two years due to a series of job cuts made by Activision Blizzard. 

It's unclear how many people will be laid off due to the closure, as some workers could be given the chance to relocate internally. Bloomberg also notes that French labor laws allow those caught up in mass layoffs to negotiate significant severance packages, potentially giving those affected some degree of protection. 

We've reached out to Activision Blizzard for more information.

Update: Activision Blizzard has told Gamasutra its Versailles office is being reorganized as the company looks to better leverage its "talent, expertise, and scale" to adapt to the needs of a "digitally focused industry," and added that it plans to support its employees throughout the process. 

“Over the past year we have been exploring how we might best integrate our capabilities across the business, enabling us to better leverage talent, expertise and scale as we adapt to the needs of a fast-paced, highly-competitive, digitally focused industry," said an Activision Blizzard spokesperson.

"In the context of our Versailles office, the management of Blizzard France has informed its employee representatives of a proposed project to reorganize its activities. Supporting our employees through this process is our number one priority. We are working through various processes related to this and a CSE meeting is scheduled for October 13th and 14th. Until then, as there is a prescribed legal process, we cannot provide further comment."

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