Blizzard Entertainment removes 50 employees in bid to reduce esports business

Blizzard Entertainment has laid off at least 50 staff (in the midst of a global pandemic), as part of a decision to de-emphasize in-person esports tournaments, which have been on hold for around a year, according to Bloomberg News.

“Players are increasingly opting to engage with our games digitally,” according to a company spokesperson, “and the esports team, like conventional sports, film, and broadcasting industries, has had to change its business due to the effect of the pandemic on live events.”

However, according to Bloomberg’s Jason Schreier, other Activision-Blizzard (Blizzard Entertainment’s parent company) staff have been laid off, meaning that today’s layoffs aren’t solely due to the lack of in-person esports events.

Employees at Candy Crush creator King and other Activision-Blizzard subsidiaries were also laid off.

According to a spokesperson for Blizzard, the affected workers will receive 90 days of severance pay and health insurance as part of the layoffs.