A Rumor Indeed..

Posted by Daeity On Monday, November 14, 2011

So you all know the story: Joystiq received a rumor last week that John Staats was terminated, but they never released any source details so I followed up to find out how they could have possibly known this. One explanation was that their recently updated FB statuses showed past employment with Blizzard. A couple of them have corrected their mistakes, but others have still left their FB profiles as ex-Blizzard employees.

Blizzard denied multiple layoffs, and most news media blogs/sites re-posted it as "NO LAYOFFS CONFIRMED". Joystiq denied any layoffs, and started throwing people under the bus.

Very well-known and public Blizzard employees and "professional journalists" found it hilarious that a profile site could ever be used for reliable information. You know, even though John Staat's recent unemployment was confirmed through Facebook.

I also discovered, much to my disappointment, that many blogs and "professional journalists" never actually read the blog entry and they misreported it on purpose to try drive up visitors I assume. There's a metric ton of misinformation out there.. if you want to know the truth, just read it from the source.

So, my last comment was:

So, this brings us all back to the original speculation. We may learn more in the coming weeks or months.
Well, it just happened. Paul Richards (who was on the Titan team for about 1 year) has just confirmed a recent termination as well.


The short story : A month ago I quit Blizzard after one year of service. This wasn't exactly my plan, but my hand was more or less forced. That's as far as I can discuss it publicly. I've a few promising leads -- have been interviewing here and there -- but want to see what posting this does. Call it an experiment.

If anyone's got a suggestion/contact, I'm currently seeking a full-time position doing concept art*, and would love to hear from you personally at the following address :


Paul Richards (Titan Concept Artist) as you know was one of the speculated terminations in my earlier post. He had also updated his FB status entry showing past employment with Blizzard.

There are still many more to go.. and I'll update if I receive any other confirmations.

So basically, it appears that the initial reports of "NO MASS LAYOFFS" or "NO MASSIVE LAYOFFS" were defined as Blizzard as more than 1000 people. Which is incorrect and THAT rumor is false. However, when I defined "MASS LAYOFFS" meaning multiple, then YES that rumor appears to be true. Apparently, there are a lot of people who owe me an apology. :)

(Like everything on the internet though, this source might not be accurate or correct. But, like I said earlier, I'm reporting on something with real sources, a real person making the claim, and reasons to support the information. If it turns out to be one giant troll, which is unlikely since Blizzard would be purposefully deceiving the public, I'll update with new information. Simple as that.)


More confirmed names that can be added to the list of recent terminations:

(John Staats)
(Paul Richards)
Trent Kaniuga (Feb 2012 - Sr. Concept Artist, left his status as still "Working At Blizzard" too)
David Lesperance (Nov 2011 - Sr. Environment Artist Titan)
Stephen Lim (Aug 2011 - Sr. Producer Titan)
Constance Wang (Aug 2011 - PA on Titan)
Morgan Fainberg (Oct 2011 - Systems Engineer)
David Pacanowsky (Aug 2011 - QA Game Tester D3)
Jodi Armstrong (Aug 2011 - HR)
Annika LaVallee (Sep 2011 - QA Analyst)
Daniel Favela (Sep 2011 - Software)
Nick Downs (Sep 2011 - IT Admin)
Jordan Schwob (Oct 2011 - Accounts/CS)
Colt McAnlis (Jul 2011 - Titan)

There's also atleast 20 CSRs, but they worked out of call centers outside of the US so I didn't include them. These are just the ones that happened to have LinkedIn accounts with confirmed terminations, which is a very small percentage of Blizzard employees. I haven't even looked at potential layoffs with Activision either.

* UPDATE (01/18/12):

Another name confirmed! And this was one from original suspicion list.

Matt Milizia has finally made a comment on his Facebook account confirming his last day with Blizzard. This was one of the names I suspected along with Paul Richards (who was also later confirmed.)
Today was my last day at Blizzard Entertainment. It was very much time for me to move on. It was a pleasure working with such a talented team, but just wasn't a work cultural fit. I wish you guys the best.
January 13 at 3:15pm

* UPDATE (01/20/12):

Senior Game Producer Steven Parker just announced that he has left Blizzard Entertainment as well (December 2006 – January 2012).

3 days before his announcement, a couple coworkers left him some new recommendations on his LinkedIn page too.

What a coincidence. More than one termination right before their next Quarterly Shareholders meeting (February 9, 2012). :)