Blizzard staff morale reportedly plummets after disastrous Q&A meeting

Staff members were reportedly stunned by the announced changes.

Workers and staff members at video game publisher Blizzard Entertainment are reportedly very upset with leadership at the company after a Q&A meeting yesterday in which the results of an “employee satisfaction survey” shined a spotlight on the disappointment with the higher-ups.

As first reported by Game Developer, the contents of the meeting caught many staffers by surprise, with the biggest concerns reportedly being the “recently-shared return-to-office mandate” as well as a huge cut to what was supposed to be employee profit-sharing bonuses.

Earlier this week, a Blizzard employee confirmed that Activision Blizzard had announced a return-to-office plan that would begin between April and June this year. The staff frustrations with this mandate were reportedly compounded during the Feb. 16 meeting, when workers were informed that they would only receive 58 percent of their promised profit-sharing bonus.

According to workers who were at the meeting that spoke to Game Developer, Blizzard president Mike Ybarra attempted to lessen the blow by saying that the profit-sharing bonus cut applies to all employees including executives. But some were reportedly angered by his implication that the higher-paid executives were “equally impacted by the decision.” Less than two weeks prior to this meeting, Activision Blizzard announced strong quarterly financial results that included “record quarterly net bookings” and huge increases in sales and operating income at Blizzard in particular.

Workers reportedly asked Ybarra what management would do to mitigate or prevent the loss of talent that would likely arise if the return-to-office mandate is carried out, given that rising housing costs and inflation have made the cost of living around Irvine, California go up. Although Ybarra reportedly did not provide a clear answer, Game Developer reports that “Blizzard would open offices in new (unnamed) locations to act as central hubs.”

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