Activision Loses Blizzard Co-Leader; Delayed the start of Overwatch, Diablo

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Activision Blizzard co-leader Jen Oneal on Tuesday decided to step down from her role, giving full control to Mike Ybarra, and the video game publisher postponed the release of two highly anticipated titles, dropping its stake 10 percent.

Ybarra said the delay in the rollout of Overwatch 2 and Diablo IV was due to the change in leadership, but did not provide a new rollout schedule while the company forecast disappointing adjusted sales in the Christmas quarter.

Oneal and Ybarra took over the helm three months ago after Allen Brack stepped down as president, a week after the company was sued for workplace harassment and wage discrimination.

As a result, the company laid off more than 20 employees last month and another 20 faced other forms of disciplinary action.

The owner of the Call of Duty and Candy Crush franchises also created a $ 18 million (approximately Rs 135 billion) fund to compensate and redeem eligible beneficiaries, while Chief Executive Bobby Kotick said he would make a big cut in salary.

In a letter to the company’s gaming community, Oneal said it would leave later this year to focus more on diversity in the gaming industry, which “will hopefully create a broader industry impact that will benefit Blizzard” and other studios will.

With her departure, the company now has three female executives in the management team of 13.

While pandemic restrictions eased, Activision’s monthly active users remained unchanged at 390 million year-over-year in the third quarter, suggesting signs of declining game demand.

The company, which faces competition from rivals Electronic Arts and Take-Two, said net bookings in the game were the same as in the third quarter of 2020.

Adjusted revenue for the third quarter was $ 1.88 billion (approximately Rs 14,020 billion), which was in line with Wall Street’s expectations.

The company expects adjusted sales of $ 2.78 billion for the fourth quarter (approximately 20,735 billion rupees). Analysts were expecting $ 2.93 billion (approximately Rs.21.855 billion), according to Refinitiv data.

© Thomson Reuters 2021

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