We're sorry to see that so many jobs were lost in an area that is so many players interact with on a day to day basis. I personally believe that Blizzard needed to increase the efficiency of the customer service/Game Master department because the wait times for tickets can run into days. Cutting jobs in that area will most definitely see a negative effect in that area if it took heavier losses than we're currently seeing.That said, it's most likely a decision to cut jobs and force the remaining members of these areas to perform faster and more efficiently. We'll have to see the wake that this decision leaves. Lastly, to those who believe this is a financial decision because of lacking operation funds, I believe you're wrong. Blizzard operate on something close to a 1 billion dollar margin per year. You multiple all the current 10 million subs to WoW by the $15 per sub, per month, per year, (not including initial game sales). Blizz make enough money to operate and THEN some.
I think the doom-and-gloom stuff lacks perspective. Consider that in 2009, Blizzard Entertainment employed over 4,600, and its parent company, Activision Blizzard, employed 5000 as of 2011.It's entirely possible that the layoffs were support, customer service, and other positions that were created based on projections of the initial explosive growth of World of Warcraft. Perhaps Blizzard simply saw themselves needing more people today than they actually did. Further, as a company grows and gains experience, they discover ways to streamline their operations to not only maximize profit, but increase the speed and efficiency with which they operate. Sometimes too many cooks really do spoil the soup.None of this is any slight on the people who were let go. It's an unfortunate reality that even the best employees can lose their position within a company as the management, goals, and needs of the company change over its lifetime. Blizzard Entertainment maintains a high standard of employment requirements for its positions, and I'm sure those qualifications and the experience gained within the company will serve those who were let go as they look for new jobs.
Analogy still doesn't work considering the necessity of continual revenue or management. Not to mention that firing 13% of a workforce would indicate systemic failure - lack of foresight as to how many employees would be required. I'd expect a resignation from the board of directors. Besides, neither you nor Blizzard have demonstrated the central claim, that productivity suffered for whatever reason. I can accept that they predict profit from their actions. I don't accept the circular reasoning that productivity must be low because workers are being made redundant.Edit:
It can take up to a week for a ticket to be answered (or closed for no reason - even if it is a legitimate concern) and they are laying off GMs? -_-
I think they said only 10% were from developers, so 60 developers were laid off. Another problem I remembered with the "builder" analogy is the existence of temporary contracts that stipulate one specific project and that may be renewed if necessary. The fact that these employees have had their contracts terminated prematurely indicates a lack of foresight that is obviously not on the part of the employees. In politics, there is a principle known as "ministerial responsibility", where the head of a department resigns due to systemic failures within the department. In business, there is a concept of "zero liability", where those responsible for poor decisions never face the consequences of them. In fact, calling for management to resign or be fired is seen as being in poor taste, whereas justifying mass unemployment in a time of prosperity for the company is simple economics.
I also find a bit funny (and sad) that people are making a big deal out of this. Companies and Corporations across the planet do personnel reduction quite frequently when they feel that some areas are overstaffed.Blizzard made an announcement regarding the termination of these people to avoid having others overblow this thing to hell by exaggerating and shouting "THE SKY IS FALLING, BLIZZ IS JUMPING THE SHIP CUZ THEY KNOW THEY'RE DOOMED". In a fit of irony, they had the exact oposite reaction :S as players are overblowing this thing to kingdom come, making all sorts of deranged and wild speculations.This is simple business people, happens every day, this is not the first time it has happened, and it will not be the last. I do have sympathy for the people who were laid off (I've had it happen to me as well) and I wish them well in their nearby future (After having worked for such a successful company like blizzard its unlikely they'll be out of jobs for too long).But for the love of the light, stop trying to inflate this, and make it more than what it really is: Simple business.