Activision responds to â??mass-layoffâ?? claims

Activision responds to â??mass-layoffâ?? claims

By Rob Crossley

February 11th 2010 at 10:23PM

Rumours rife that as many as 90 staff have been axed from Radical Entertainment

Activision Blizzard has responded to widespread speculation suggesting that three of the publisher’s studios have been hit by heavy layoffs, and possible closures.

In a statement sent to Develop, Activision said it was “realigning our resources to better reflect our slate and the market opportunities.”

Earlier today, 3D Realms co-founder George Broussard sparked off the rumours from his personal Twitter account, which claimed that around 90 staff from Vancouver-based studio Radical Entertainment had been made redundant.

“Other studios are in meetings,” he added. “Good luck to all.”

Hours later, Broussard made further claims, posting: “Neversoft layoffs after shipping Guitar Hero 6. Luxoflux closed?”

An Activision spokesperson declined to speak of the rumours directly when contacted by Develop. However, a prepared statement sent through had implied the firm was shifting its workforce.

Activision said it “continually evaluates its resources to ensure that they are properly matched against its product slate and strategic goals”, before adding a reminder that its 2010 game portfolio will be narrower than last year.

Activision said this reduction in projects was “driven, in part, by a decrease in the number of music-based games we will be releasing” – further fuelling rumours that the Californian Guitar Hero 5 studio Neversoft has been affected by the realignment.

The publisher added that it was focusing on more digital projects as the online segment becomes more central its business strategy. This could mean that those affected by the realignment may be asked to transfer to other studios, as opposed to face redundancies.

The company announced record annual profits yesterday, with GAAP net revenues hitting $4.28 billion.