Blizzards Gifts Laid-Off Employees Gift Cards


Lay-offs are an unfortunate part of reality. Not all companies can afford to keep all of their staff on payroll. However, there's a difference between laying off employees because of a lack of funding and whatever the heck Blizzard is doing.

Although the firing of live events and esports programming staff is understandable, the compensation given is perplexing and tone deaf.

For the third year in a row, Activision-Blizzard has talked about having a successful financial year only to let employees go soon after.

Dozens of Live Events and Esports Staff Laid Off

Bloomberg News video game reporter Jason Schreier broke the news that Activision-Blizzard would lay off some 50 people who worked in Activision-Blizzard's live events and esports programming. Then, a short while later, Schreier shared the severance package that the California-based video game company offered to its former employees.

In addition to the 90 days severance pay that the former employees are entitled to, as well as one year of health benefits, the staff members also received $200 worth of gift cards that they can use on Battle.net, of all places.

As if you'd ever think of buying a new game from the company that fired you anytime soon, apparently due to a shift in strategy following the pandemic.

Just last year, CEO Bobby Kotick came under fire for his salary. Apparently, he received a hefty sum in 2019 from shareholders. This even went as far as to prompt hashtags of "FireBobbyKotick" to spread like wildfire all over Twitter. The hashtag appeared yet again due to how Activision-Blizzard handled the firing of 50 employees.

MORE:  Call of Duty Black Ops Cold War is One of The Top-selling Games

The thing that's most perplexing about this whole ordeal is how they came up with the idea of giving employees gift cards that can only be used in their own store.

It is understandable that live events and esports programming staff members will take a hit. After all, live events have been sporadic and close to non-existent for the better part of the past year. Not to mention, it's not looking like things are going to get better anytime soon. But still, that's not reason enough to give $200 in credit for a video game store.

Not only does the decision come off as tone-deaf, but it also raises the question of whether employees can consider this a true gift. This is considering that the gift cards hold little value outside of their former company's own store.

It's a Big Year Ahead for Activision-Blizzard

Blizzard is set to have yet another financially successful year if they play their cards right.

Despite the pandemic, Activision-Blizzard continues to rake in profits. Their games, such as Call of Duty: Warzone and Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War, are some of the top games available today. In addition to this, Blizzard currently has other future chart-toppers in the cards. This includes the likes of Diablo II: Resurrected and Diablo Immortal.

So, while the lay-offs are indeed unfortunate, it is understandable.

Let's just hope that their next announcement of financial success doesn't come with news of them laying off employees for some reason.

Ray Ampoloquio
Ray is based in the Philippines. He is a lifelong gamer and a PC hardware enthusiast. He builds and repairs laptops and computers for friends and family in his spare time. You can find Ray on Twitter.