Activision CEO Bobby Kotick today confirmed the company plans to hire more than 2,000 employees this year alone, signalling big projects in development.
We've known for a while that Activision-Blizzard is working on a number of huge projects. Blizzard in particular has a stronger slate of new IPs than its ever had before, and there's also Overwatch 2 and Diablo IV in development. Activision's working on the new Vietnam-based Call of Duty 2020 and planning for more games into the future. Its segment is once again pulling in thunderous earnings thanks to Call of Duty Warzone, a new free-to-play BR game that's not only making millions in microtransactions, but boosting full game sales of Modern Warfare too. This is just the beginning of the #2 publisher's mighty leap into stronger billion-dollar earnings.
Now two years after laying off nearly 800 employees while simultaneously earning a record $7.5 billion, Activision is ready to reinvest in its workforce. The company wants to hire over 2,000 employees in 2020, which would push its total headcount above 11,200. And it's all to serve an ambitious new multi-faceted plan that will further cement its games into the lucrative live games-as-a-service market.
So why is Activision going on this hiring spreed? It's all part of its four-part plan.
The new four-part plan focuses on the following key points:
- New games - Call of Duty premium, CoD Warzone, Diablo IV, Overwatch 2, Blizzard's big new unannounced IPs and incubation projects
- Live services - Billion-dollar monetization structures that power its business
- Mobile ports - CoD Mobile, Diablo Immortal
- New engagement models - Warzone's F2P/premium crossover
Also relevant: Call of Duty developer Sledgehammer Games is also massively expanding its workforce, sending a clear signal that even bigger things are on the horizon for the franchise. Whether this means more Warzone content, new Call of Duty games, or something else--likely all of the above--remains unclear.
Remember not all of these workers would be game developers. Far from it. Making games is just 1/4th of the plan. The bulk of the roadmap is focused on what comes after these new games: Live services, microtranasctions, the engagement cycle that turns the mighty wheel of monetization, mobile ports for maximum reach.
It's also likely Activision-Blizzard is re-hiring for the same positions it eliminated in 2018 in an effort to ramp-up marketing endeavors for its new games. We're not 100% clear on what disciplines its hiring for, but I wouldn't be surprised if a portion of them don't match the positions they shed two years ago.
So ultimately we should expect big things from Activision-Blizzard in the mid- and long-term future. And yes, all of these big things will be monetized with live service hooks.
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