Activision Blizzard to consolidate European publishing operations into UK hub following esports layoffs

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Games giant Activision Blizzard plans to close its various publishing offices around Europe and consolidate these operations into a UK hub.

The Overwatch and Call of Duty publisher is apparently preparing for layoffs at its offices in Germany, France, Spain, the UK and the Netherlands, according to a report by GamesIndustry.biz’s Brendan Sinclair.

These job cuts allegedly will not affect development or customer support staff – just publishing.

“Players are increasingly choosing to connect with our games digitally,” said an Activision Blizzard spokesperson. “We have shared plans with our teams in Europe for how we would evolve as an organisation, adapting to this change to serve our players and best positioning the region for future growth.”

The news comes after Activision Blizzard laid off 50 esports and events staff, as well as others, with the overall number thought to be less than 190.

Laid off staff will receive a minimum of 90 days severance and health benefits for a year, as well as $200 Battle.net gift vouchers.

Activision Blizzard has come under fire for the news and the fact that CEO Bobby Kotick is poised to earn millions of dollars in a bonus. Two years ago, Activision Blizzard cut nearly 800 jobs after achieving record results.

Others in the esports community expressed concern around what the esports layoffs may mean for the future of the company’s competitive gaming operations, such as the Call of Duty League and Overwatch League.

Activision Blizzard currently has a UK office in Ditton Park, London, which is currently home to the UK and Ireland sales and supply chain teams, PR, finance and IT teams. It’s not yet clear whether this would become its new European publishing hub or another office is being set up.

Yesterday a new report found that the UK consumer games market was worth a record £7bn in 2020, with gamers spending £45.6m on streaming donations, subscriptions and other gaming video content.

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