Activision Blizzard subsidiary Z2 shuts down Seattle game studio amid larger layoffs

Activision Blizzard subsidiary Z2 shuts down Seattle game studio amid larger layoffs

5:59pm, 12th February, 2019
, a Seattle game studio owned by Activision Blizzard, is shutting down. The office closure is part of larger layoffs announced today by Activision Blizzard, which will . The gaming giant employed just under 10,000 employees last year. Z2 originally launched in 2009. It was , maker of the popular game Candy Crush, for $150 million in February 2015 and remained in Seattle. Later that year, gaming giant and in the process swooped up Z2, as well. King currently lists more than 70 Seattle-based employees on . We’ve reached out to Activision Blizzard for comment and will update this post when we hear back. Several people tweeted about the closure, with some noting that King’s San Francisco office was shut down as well. WELP the game studio where I worked for almost 8 years and a ton of my friends still work(ed) just got shut down today by activision…….bad bad bad bad — Brian Lee (@BrianLeeWow) Layoffs looking like 800 people, Seattle & San Fran King Studios closed. Anyone who is in a position to offer work please consider reaching out to those affected. Including the game dev jobs living document — Lindsey – @ECCC AAI9 (@Rinnychu) Hearing bad news out of the King division of ATVI- the Seattle (formerly Z2) and SF offices have been shut down. :( Best of luck to those affected. — TimBorrelli TimBorrelli Night and Day it's TimBorr (@Anim8der) , there were marketing and support position layoffs at the Seattle studio. , which launched in 2015, is the only title listed on the Z2 website. It has a 4-star rating and more than 430,000 reviews on Google Play. Z2 was founded by former Microsoft developer Damon Danieli and led in its initial phases by gaming veteran David Bluhm. Lou Fasulo and stepped down this past April. Its investors included DFJ and Madrona, with Madrona incubating the idea at the firm’s downtown Seattle offices in 2008. Total funding in Z2 was just $6.5 million before the acquisition. King started in Sweden in 2003, and it later moved its headquarters to London. Z2 was the company’s first U.S. gaming studio. It had offices in 13 cities worldwide before today’s announcement. “King is predominantly known for their immensely popular puzzle games,” Fasulo said at the time of the acquisition. “Z2 has had great success in casual to mid-core builder, strategy and action games — this combination extends their capabilities to new game genres.” King $543 million in fourth quarter revenue, up 5 percent year-over-year. It was responsible for 20 percent of Activision-Blizzard’s $2.6 billion in revenue last quarter. King, which launched Candy Crush Friends Saga, has 268 million monthly active users. On the company’s earnings call Tuesday, Activision Blizzard executives said the company-wide layoffs are part of a renewed focus on their larger main franchises such as Call of Duty and Diablo. “While our financial results for 2018 were the best in our history, we didn’t realize our full potential,” Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick said in a statement. “To help us reach our full potential, we have made a number of important leadership changes. These changes should enable us to achieve the many opportunities our industry affords us, especially with our powerful owned franchises, our strong commercial capabilities, our direct digital connections to hundreds of millions of players, and our extraordinarily talented employees.” Last month, Bellevue, Wash.-based Bungie said it would , ending a partnership with Activision-Blizzard.