Blizzard Entertainment has been having a rough go as of late. With the uproar surrounding the recently announced mobile game Diablo Immortal at BlizzCon in November and a negative reception for pushing towards the mobile platform for all existing IPs, the company appears to be struggling to keep its fans engaged. Internally there now seems to be issues as well, coming in the form of the company's customer service department in Europe.
In a report cited from Eurogamer, Blizzard Entertainment's European office in Cork, Ireland, has been offering incentives to employees to voluntarily resign from their jobs. The report claims the incentive has been offered on numerous occasions in recent months, with anonymous sources saying they've taken up to a year's worth of pay in order to leave and pursue other career opportunities.
The total number of employees taking the incentive offer is reportedly at least 100 employees, ranging from managers to back office staff members. With the holidays looming near, the lack of manpower in the service department is likely to put a strain of those who've chosen to stay with the company. Not only is the workload expected to increase, but it's left doubts in the minds of those still employed about the future of the Ireland-based office.
The immediate effects of those leaving means people trying to reach customer support will likely be sitting in longer queues, and in fact, that has already been happening. Back on December 19th, Blizzard's European customer service was forced to close their call-back and live chat services for an extended period of time in an effort to handle the higher volume of incoming calls.
It appears the reasoning behind cutting production costs at Blizzard's office in Cork, Ireland is due to Activision's acknowledgement of the decline of monthly active users across all of Blizzard's titles, which has led to less incoming revenue. To counter this trend, Activision is hoping for Blizzard to start releasing new games more regularly, as its two biggest games, Diablo 3 and Overwatch, appear to have plateaued in their respective active user bases. The strive for more game releases also falls in line with previous statements from Blizzard of multiple Diablo games currently in development during BlizzCon.
Regardless of the status of Blizzard's Cork office, knowing the company's gotten ahead of any issues it may have by offering an incentive is a much better approach compared to other developers. This past September, Telltale Games suddenly closed due to a lack of funding, and was unable to offer any severance to the employees they were forced to lay off.