Activision have confirmed that a number of staff are being laid off amid "refocusing" efforts, but they haven't said how many, or from which offices.
“As announced on our earnings call, our games for core audiences did extremely well, but the casual audience has not yet emerged on next gen consoles,” an Activision spokesperson told Game Informer, when the company was asked to comment on reports of staffing changes.
“So we are refocusing to better align with Activision’s long-term priorities because, as always, our strategy evolves to keep us ahead of a rapidly-changing industry. We are working with those impacted by the changes to offer outplacement services and support.”
This follows "lower than expected performance on Skylanders [Superchargers] and Guitar Hero [Live]," which Activision's chief financial officer Dennis M. Durkin revealed in an earnings call last week.
"Our games for core audiences did extremely well, but our games for casual audiences performed below expectations, largely due to greater competition in the toys-to-life genre and we believe because of the casual audience's shift to mobile devices, which will benefit the company overall in the future. We want to be where our casual audience is. In light of the pending King transaction, we're exploring new opportunities on mobile," Durkin explained.
He did say that Activision remains committed to the Skylanders and Guitar Hero franchises. A new Skylanders game and an animated TV series called Skylanders Academy are due out later this year, and the company will continue to support Guitar Hero Live with new content, but there won't be a new Guitar Hero game this year.