Activision Blizzard To Hire 2000 + New Developers Over Next Two Years, Financial Report Q1 2021

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Activision Blizzard To Hire 2000 + New Developers Over Next Two Years, Financial Report Q1 2021

It looks like after years of laying off staff, Activision Blizzard is now looking to hire upwards of 2000+.

The First Quarter Financial Results for Activision Blizzard are in, and it’s once again great news for the developer. Posting better than expected results, the company will now look to expand development teams in all major franchises, with some teams tripled by the end of the year. They’ll also look to form new studios in Poland, China, Australia, and Canada.

A graphic showing Blizzard's Q1 results for 2021 including a 7% growth for Blizzard's titles and the operating income of Activision titles more than doubling

At a glance, Q1 was a special year for the company, as you can see from the image above. With a community of over 400 million players across all franchises, the company is primed as one of the largest active communities in the industry. First-quarter net bookings increased by 36% to over $2.1 billion, driven by the three core franchises, Call of Duty, Warcraft, and Candy Crush.

A closer look at each franchise

Call of Duty Franchise:

The franchise saw a 40% growth in MAUs, with higher than expected engagement growth. In doing so the franchise set a new quarter record. In-game transactions on PC and console also grew 60%.

Sledgehammer Games is working on this year's offering. Call of Duty Mobile continues to grow, with the March season concluding the game’s highest player count to date. The game saw a massive influx of new players from China.


World of Warcraft continued to have a strong reach, engagement, and participation. The game also saw higher than expected numbers of new players joining the game in both Shadowlands and Classic. The expansion for which is due to release in “the coming months

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Shadowlands continued to attract good numbers of players, after its successful launch in November

Diablo II: Resurrected saw positive feedback during testing in April with online viewership of the game’s alpha the highest for a Blizzard game. The game is scheduled to release in 2021. Diablo Immortal entered phase 2 of testing and is also due for release this year.

Hearthstone: Forged in the Barrens is on track to record expansion-over-expansion net growth for the second consecutive release as Hearthstone continues to remain relevant.


King saw its business continue to do well during the pandemic. With net bookings remaining strong year-on-year.

Candy Crush continued its growth year-on-year and remained the top-grossing franchise in the U.S app stores.

Farm Heroes in-game net bookings also grew year-on-year as did Crash Bandicoot: On the Run which has been downloaded 30m times to-date.

The after-event Q&A failed to reveal anything juicy for gamers, other than confirmation that Blizzard will release multiple titles in the Diablo franchise in the next 12 months. As mentioned above, TBC Classic is due to release soon alongside the Shadowlands 9.1 content update. No mention of Overwatch 2 during the event.

Activision Blizzard To Hire 2000 + New Developers Over Next Two Years, Financial Report Q1 2021
David Hollingsworth
David has written for games media outlets for the last ten years. With his first major esports role being with Esports News UK covering mostly UK League of Legends. David is also a member of the British Esports Association and is an advisor to them on World of Warcraft Esports. More recently David has worked for Esports Insider and Red Bull as an esports journalist. David later became Editor at ESTNN and now leads the current team.