The initial announcement comes from a now former team member who shared an update on their LinkedIn page, saying they were made redundant on September 27 without notice, after working at the company for nearly 19 years (via VGC).
“After 18 and a half years at Blizzard Entertainment, I’ve been laid off without notice as of today; the Hearthstone Team is apparently being restructured and my Tools Engineer role is no longer needed,” Hunter C. wrote.
In the comments of the post, Hunter C. said, “To the best of my knowledge, Hearthstone was doing well; they had just recently shown off how well we were doing in a team meeting,” they added.
The layoffs were later confirmed by Activision Blizzard, saying in a statement to Kotaku senior reporter Ethan Gach that 10 people had been impacted due to structural changes.
“Organizational changes were made to the Hearthstone team; as a result, a small number of roles have become redundant,” an Activision Blizzard spokesperson said. “We want to thank these employees for their many contributions”.
Game studio layoffs have been prevalent lately. Just two weeks ago Ascendant Studios laid off nearly half of its staff less than a month after the launch of Immortals of Aveum. About 45% of the team was made redundant, with the studio citing poor sales as the “painfully difficult, but necessary decision that was not made lightly.”
Crystal Dynamics – which was acquired by Embracer Group last year – also announced a number of layoffs to its team last week, saying that it had parted ways with 10 employees “due to an internal restructuring.”
Even BioWare, best known for working on the popular Mass Effect and Dragon Age series, laid off about 50 people last month in order to “meet the needs of upcoming projects” and to make the studio “more agile and more focused”.
This announcement arrived after Bioware revealed that the development of Star Wars: The Old Republic would be moved away from the company to the third-party studio Broadsword Online, in order to focus on the future of Dragon Age and Mass Effect.