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Blizzard announces 600 redundancies

90% of those affected "not related to game development".

World of Warcraft developer Blizzard has announced a major round of lay-offs, with around 600 employees now out of a job.

It added that 90 per cent of those affected are "not related to game development" and that the World of Warcraft development team is not affected at all.

CEO Mike Morhaime attributed the cuts to wider changes in the way the games industry operates.

"Constant evaluation of teams and processes is necessary for the long-term health of any business," he said.

"Over the last several years, we've grown our organisation tremendously and made large investments in our infrastructure in order to better serve our global community. However, as Blizzard and the industry have evolved we've also had to make some difficult decisions in order to address the changing needs of our company.

"Knowing that, it still does not make letting go of some of our team members any easier. We're grateful to have had the opportunity to work with the people impacted by today's announcement, we're proud of the contributions they made here at Blizzard, and we wish them well as they move forward."

Blizzard recently revealed that World of Warcraft shed 1.7 million subscribers between October 2010 and September 2011, with total numbers at 10.3 million as of last November.

Its current project slate includes Diablo 3, the next entry in the StarCraft 2 saga, World of Warcraft's Mists of Pandaria expansion and its unannounced new MMO.

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Fred Dutton

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Fred Dutton was Eurogamer's US news editor, based in Washington DC.

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