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Even employees of successful companies aren't safe from layoffs. Today Blizzard Entertainment, creators of the Diablo, StarCraft and Warcraft franchises, announced that it will be firing approximately 600 employees.
"Constant evaluation of teams and processes is necessary for the long-term health of any business. Over the last several years, we've grown our organization 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," said Mike Morhaime, CEO and co-founder of Blizzard. "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 says that only about 10% of the layoffs will be in game development. They make a point of saying that the World of Warcraft team will be unaffected. Why single them out? Well, that's where most people would assume cuts would occur, considering the MMORPG lost about 1.8 million subscribers last year. The game's still enormous, though, and no doubt rakes in plenty of the green stuff.
The company adds that they're not planning to cancel or delay any of their current projects. In the near future they're going to announce a specific release date for Diablo 3 launch beta testing for World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria. Both games are expected to be released this year. Blizzard DOTA and StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm, as well as other unannounced games, are still in development as well.
"It goes without saying that we're working hard to get all of these games in your hands as soon as possible," Morhaime said in a letter to gamers on the Battle.net forums. "You've all come to expect Blizzard to live up to our mission statement with every game, and deliver the most epic entertainment experiences ever. You can continue to expect that and nothing less from us as we move forward."