This evening, Activision Blizzard began to inform numerous employees that they will be let go from the company. The layoffs started shortly after the conclusion of an earnings call made this afternoon. The company says that they will be eliminating 8% of its total staff. As of 2018, Activision Blizzard employed around 9,600 people. If this figure holds up, that means at least 770 people are now out of work.

Those impacted by the layoffs are spread out across multiple Activision Blizzard departments. This includes Activision's publishing division, Blizzard, High Moon, and King. Specifically, Blizzard's hardest hit departments were publishing and esports.

As part of this afternoon's earnings remarks, Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick informed investors that the "financial results for 2018 were the best in (Activision Blizzard's) history." He even opened the earning's call by saying, "we once again achieved record results in 2018."

Sadly for those employees that are now without a job, those big numbers don't mean too much when the company came up about $700 million short of estimates. To put some additional numbers to that, Activision Blizzard anticipated sales of $3.04B, however they sold only $2.38B.

Employees that were laid off will be promised a "comprehensive severance package." Part of this also includes continued health benefits, career coaching, and job placement assistance. Those at Blizzard that are being laid off will still receive their profit-sharing bonuses for the previous year.

Today's unfortunate news came after months of layoff rumors swirling around the company. These rumors really picked up steam in the past week. It was rumored that hundreds of employees could potentially lose their jobs. Earlier today, it was even reported that Activision Blizzard employees were crying and exchanging hugs in the parking lot as they anxiously awaited their fates.

In related news, Activision Blizzard's new CFO, Dennis Durkin, received $15 million in awards for taking the job. This occured back in the far off time of January 2019. This $15 million is broken down into $11.3 million in restricted stock and a $3.75 million sign-on bonus. This is in addition to his $900,000 per year salary and a $1.35 million target bonus.

In 2017, Bobby Kotick was given $28.7M in compensation and six other top Activision Blizzard executives earned around $53.6M in compensation. In 2017, Activision Blizzard's net income was $273 million. In total, Activision Blizzard's top executives earned $82.3 million, or roughly a third of their net income for the year. The breakdown of executive salaries for 2018 has not been revealed.

We wish the best of luck to those employees that are impacted by today's layoffs. I know that a lot of studios are offering their support, with many of them hiring. These are just a few of them.