Message from Mike Morhaime

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90 Worgen Druid
8995
People wonder why wow has been so inconsistent, perhaps over staffing is to blame? Too many chiefs kind of thing.

Just a thought.
90 Blood Elf Warlock
14860
Thanks for being public and candid about this announcement. This may be unrelated, but I have noticed a drastic decrease in the amount of time it takes to have a service ticket completed.

It sounds like perhaps, if the staff cuts were in the support department, that the development of internal tools and external documentation to better let your customers help themselves has reduced the need for support staff. Overall, even though it results in jobs lost, it is a very positive change for any company to make.

Thank you for keeping us in the loop and doing what you can to prevent speculation.
Edited by Starien on 2/29/2012 9:47 AM PST
85 Troll Priest
DOM
9245
Don't you dare touch any CMs.
90 Undead Warlock
14110
What other substantial staffing areas does a game studio have, besides development?

- customer service
- quality assurance (not sure if part of "development")
- marketing
- operations / human resources
- finance / accounting

So has customer service and quality assurance been gutted? :(
90 Tauren Hunter
8510
What other substantial staffing areas does a game studio have, besides development?

- customer service
- quality assurance (not sure if part of "development")
- marketing
- operations / human resources
- finance / accounting

So has customer service and quality assurance been gutted? :(
Legal Dept.

There's a tedious legal process necessary to publish and trademark a game, or any product for that matter.

Edit: QA is usually separate from Dev. QA fields ongoing bugs and can forward bug reports to Devs, and also do take part in the development process, but are usually their own dept.
Edited by Rukentuts on 2/29/2012 9:50 AM PST
90 Tauren Priest
12635
Remember that event from a month or two ago where someone whom we knew worked at Blizzard left the company? Everyone went all atwitter about it as the doom of the ages.

Morhaime is doing damage control here. The party line is that they're tightening their belts a bit, and that means letting a few people go. And that this shouldn't have an impact on development.

Just because you make the biggest MMO on the planet doesn't mean you can justify employing people whose position isn't worth the cost of employment. And even then, working for Blizzard is pretty much a mark of honor that will get you into any other studio in the industry without a problem. Besides, can you imagine what the severance package has got to be like?

Best of luck to those who are leaving the company. Now let's get moving before the doomspeakers show up.
100 Worgen Warlock
12050
Just sell a couple more mounts and a pet and let these people keep their jobs.
90 Pandaren Warrior
11505
Wonder if balancing your game would increase profits, and maybe not have cost some of those (now) former employees their jobs.
Edited by Sphyxx on 2/29/2012 10:02 AM PST
82 Gnome Priest
760
02/29/2012 09:39 AMPosted by Deathonwheat
Hard to believe Blizzard in any way lacks "resources" when they can sell virtual dragons for $25 a pop all day long.


You do know that Blizzard makes more games than just WoW, right? We also do not know the details of the positions that are being consolidated. It also doesn't make business sense to keep someone around just because you can. The revenue from that $25 macaroni dragon will be going to fund development of Titan, or Diablo III expantion 1, or WoW:MoP insead of, say, a sales agent, or a Warcraft III technical support representative.

While it is easy to overreact to these sorts of announcements, and proclaim that WoW is dying, and that this will kill WoW, this is the reason for the dumbing down of the game, etc, etc; this is likely not the case. Without more specific information about which departments are affected (and I can't imagine Blizzard releasing this information), we cannot come to any real conclusion other than overstaffed departments are being brought down to sustainable levels.

tldr; The sky is not falling.
100 Night Elf Druid
12910
So you state there is room for growth in other departments while others are overstaffed. Perhaps I'm a little naive, but is it possible these people could be relocated to a less staffed department? Which areas of the business were striving and showed room for growth and what areas are people losing their jobs in because of this assessment? Are there no projections showing that these departments will be on the rise again in the future or show a possible need in another similar area?

I find it ironic how in many cases it is hard to let fellow co-workers and friends go from a company, but when it comes down to the person doing the evaluating, supervising or managing, they see them as disposable. I'm about to get my second lay off in four years in a completely different area of the work force, so this hits a personal note and I find it hard to believe there is nothing that can be done to keep them on in a company that appears to be doing so well.
85 Goblin Shaman
4835
Wow.. not good news huh. To be honest, i felt like the quantity of content has been reducing as of cata. I'm sure the loss of subscribers doesn't help this, but im curious of the impact this will bring.
90 Tauren Hunter
8510
02/29/2012 09:51 AMPosted by Darkedged
but is it possible these people could be relocated to a less staffed department?
Not really, because a Developer wouldn't have the same qualifications as someone in Marketing.
Edited by Rukentuts on 2/29/2012 9:52 AM PST
85 Troll Priest
DOM
9245
02/29/2012 09:47 AMPosted by Ashin
operations

They may have more servers than they used to, but I'm willing to bet their overall operational needs have plummeted as technology has improved over the age of the game.

It used to be that they could argue that sub fees used to go to paying for the server costs. That cost is low enough in relation to other costs now a-days (which is why sub-free is more attractive to other companies, like GW2).
90 Night Elf Druid
14955
I find it hard to believe that Blizzard is having trouble providing a position for it's employees. However...they are in the downtime for every game release/ expansion so it's to be expected that revenue will be low (probably the reason why the raiders were swindled out of the Heart of the Aspects Mount so it could be sold for cash instead).

I'm still crossing my fingers that Pandaria will be a Summer Release. I don't know if I have the mental capacity to wait for a fall release....
90 Orc Warrior
13585
All I read was "Greed, Greed and some more Greed!"

WoW alone in one month, probably makes up for all the spending your company does on development and so on.

but thats all "IMO"
85 Draenei Hunter
6275
Blizzard, look what you have become.
85 Human Warlock
7065
meh companies do things like this daily basis. Depts will get bloated and bloat is never good. Look at Greece. The poster child of bloated public service.

Trimming the bloat to hire for needed positions is just smart business. Good call Blizzard.

85 Orc Warrior
3965
Lets just wait and see what the affected employee's say, I am sure they will be talking after all an anonymous source is immune to confidentiality agreements.

In either case, Blizzard appears to be heading the path of other soulless cooperations now. Such as EA,and Ubisoft. If only they could shake the stranglehold activision has on them.'

Kudo's for giving severance packages because most companies just fire the employee's.

I still expect a fully staffed customer support team just letting you know now. I also don't intend to buy any future products now.
100 Human Paladin
16685
I hope Ray the Soda Guy is still employed.
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