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Activision Blizzard lays off 50 employees from esports division

Despite record sales numbers thanks to Diablo 4.

Screenshot of a round in Overwatch 2
Image credit: Blizzard Entertainment

Activision Blizzard has laid off around 50 staff from its esports division.

The layoffs come amid news of the company's record sales of Diablo 4 which helped propel its net bookings to a whopping $2.46bn.

The layoffs, as reported by The Verge, affected around 50 employees in Blizzard's esports department, with one employee stating the layoffs were "a complete shock".

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"None of us who were laid off were offered any opportunity to switch roles or teams," the employee said. Formerly a member of Blizzard's esports operations team, they had believed things were going well for the department.

The employee speculated the esports division inside Activision Blizzard will be closed, as they were working on a new tool to run tournaments before they were laid off. "They are completely unequipped to internally support anything esports," they said, since the replacement had not been finished.

Despite the success of Diablo 4, Blizzard is beginning to release some of its games on Steam, forgoing exclusivity of titles on its launcher for PC. Overwatch 2 will launch on Steam in August, likely due to the drop in player count reported in Activision Blizzard's most recent financial earnings report.

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