We have heard reports that Blizzard has paid some of its staff to leave the company, in an effort to cut costs.
Last month, we saw the announcement of Diablo Immortal for smartphones, and the ensuing backlash. Despite this, Blizzard executive producer Allen Adham said the company would continue plans to make mobile titles for all their franchises.
Kotaku reported Activision was looking to cut costs within the company, and it seems this may have come to pass in at least one form. Later Eurogamer reported via an anonymous sources that over one hundred people have been paid to leave the company’s European customer service offices in Cork, Ireland.
The sources claim that over the last few months, the “program” has been offered “at least” five times, and the amount of money offered increased. One source allegedly claimed they received a year’s pay:
“It was too good to pass up. This is voluntary, do not get me wrong. But when you see a pile a cash in front of you, over and over again, you start to lose hope and cannot see a great situation ahead.”
The Eurogamer article continues, claiming that at least “100 agents, managers and back office staff will leave Blizzard at the end of December”. Two anonymous source expressed their concerns for the company’s future:
“This means people will struggle to get the help they need and the people that are left in the office are being forced on to shifts they do not like to try and cover this massive loss.”
“At this point it’s causing stress and a lot of questions about people who settled here with families.”
The Blizzard Customer Service EU Twitter account recently announced that “On 19/12 our callback and live chat services will be closed from 17:00” and that the help ticket system should be used in its stead.
Blizzard did approach Eurogamer with a statement, confirming the validity of the general information. They “stressed it was not encouraging people” to take the offer and it was strictly voluntary.
“The employees who are choosing to leave the company later this month are taking advantage of a voluntary and longstanding program we offer in various locations around the world. This program, which has proven popular in the past, gives eligible staff the option to make the most of incentives while proactively pursuing other career opportunities. No one is required or encouraged to participate in this program, but for those who do, we work hard to make it generous.”
Despite this, Blizzard also assured Eurogamer that its European customer service would be unaffected and that there were no plans to close the Cork office.
“Our players are at the heart of everything we do and should continue to expect the same award-winning level of service from Blizzard today as they have received in the past. As you noted, on December 19 our call-back and live chat services were temporarily closed, a measure we occasionally take to allow us to respond to an unexpectedly high volume of contacts.”
“We don’t have plans to close our Cork site and it will continue to be an important part of our customer support service in Europe. Our community of players can rely on us to continue fielding a highly-trained, in-house staff of customer service professionals to assist with their needs.”
What do you all think of the whole situation? Sound off in the comments below!