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According to a report by Emer Walsh of the Irish Examiner, Activision Blizzard is planning to cut over 130 roles in its Irish office in Blackpool, Cork. The layoff and the number of employees that would be affected was confirmed by, Michéal Martin, Tánaiste, Minister of Foreign Affairs. Martin raised the issue while speaking in the Dáil last Thursday, February 15.

Activision Reportedly Planning To Layoff 136 Employees In Ireland Office

Activision’s Cork office which was established in 2007 has around 200 employees. The office served as a support center for group entities in the Activision Blizzard group. This means more than 60% of the employees in the studio in the Cork office would be laid off. Activision has yet to comment on the report.

Last month, the Irish Department of Enterprise, Trade, and Employment spokesperson told the Irish Examiner that they had “received a collective redundancy notification in relation to potential redundancies in Blizzard Entertainment Ireland Limited”.

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According to Walsh’s report, staff in the Cork office started to panic after the acquisition of the company by Microsoft for an industry record $69 billion. Irish MP Mick Barry, a member of the People Before Profit party, said employees in the Cork office were worried about the layoffs and claimed Activision “refuses to engage with the trade union chosen by these workers to represent them”.

“Companies should not be allowed to waltz into this country, announce life-changing cutbacks to people’s jobs, and simply refuse to talk to the representatives chosen by people who have given long years of service to their employer.”

Activision’s Cork office was not spared in the last round of layoffs

Activision Reportedly Planning To Layoff 136 Employees In Ireland Office

Last month, Microsoft announced that it was laying off 1,900 employees across its video game divisions including Activision Blizzards. It is believed that Activision employs over 400 people in Cork and Dublin. Speaking after the January layoffs, the Gaming Workers Union affiliated with Ireland’s Financial Services Union (FSU) said it was worried about Microsoft’s decision to cut roles.

“[The decision will] have a direct impact on jobs in Ireland with a significant amount of the Irish workforce in Activision Blizzard at risk of redundancy,” the union said.

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“This announcement is part of a worrying trend over the last two years of job losses in the wider technology sector and most recently in the games sector,” added Gareth Murphy, Head of Industrial Relations and Campaigns at the FSU.

“The rationale given by employers that these redundancies were a consequence of overhiring during covid does not stand up to scrutiny anymore. We are on the third and fourth round of job cuts and it is time the Minister took a more proactive approach to saving jobs in the sector.”

Activision Reportedly Planning To Layoff 136 Employees In Ireland Office

Xbox boss Phil Spencer sent an email to the staff at that time, trying to explain the reason for the layoff. Spencer said it was a decision that aligns the company with the best growth opportunities.

“It’s been a little over three months since the Activision, Blizzard, and King teams joined Microsoft,” Spencer wrote in the email. As we move forward in 2024, the leadership of Microsoft Gaming and Activision Blizzard is committed to aligning on a strategy and an execution plan with a sustainable cost structure that will support the whole of our growing business. Together, we’ve set priorities, identified areas of overlap, and ensured that we’re all aligned on the best opportunities for growth.”

As part of the cut, Blizzard Entertainment was forced to make changes including the cancellation of a survival game codenamed Odyssey and bidding farewell to its president Mike Ybarra and chief design officer Allen Adham—the co-founder of the company.

Anthony Emecheta

Anthony Emecheta has over a decade experience as a freelance writer. Gaming has always been a childhood hobby and he is excited to be collaborating with a gaming company as a content creator. It is like having all the things he loves in one place.


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