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PC Gaming Weekly | February 14, 2019

Hi {{first_name}}, In 2014, Nintendo president Satoru Iwata took a 50 percent pay cut, and legendary
PC Gaming Weekly

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Hi {{first_name}},
In 2014, Nintendo president Satoru Iwata took a 50 percent pay cut, and legendary game designer Shigeru Miyamoto shaved his salary by 30 percent. Seven other Nintendo executives took haircuts of 20 percent. They did this, in part, to spare Nintendo workers from layoffs after the dismal performance of the Wii U home console.
Wednesday, Activision Blizzard announced 2018 financial results that CEO Bobby Kotick termed as “the best in our history.” Then, preparing to swing the hatchet, he added the first caveat: “We didn’t realize our full potential.”
Then the hatchet came down, and about 800 people – 8 percent of Activision Blizzard’s workforce – lost their jobs. Their livelihoods. As the blood dripped from that hatchet, Activision announced a 9 percent bump in its dividend.
I was stunned. I expected layoffs, but firing close to 10 percent of any company is shocking. Activision had a strong year. Maybe expectations are too high? Maybe the idea that higher growth year after year after year is something that’s not sustainable, regardless if you have new games or not.
But then I remember what Nintendo did during the Wii U’s struggles. The executives shouldered the blame and protected their workers. Fans praised Iwata. Nintendo’s following has always been strong, and it gives its players reasons to be loyal.
Meanwhile, Bloomberg reported last month that Activision Blizzard gave new chief financial officer Dennis Durkin nearly $15 million in awards for taking the gig … on top of his $900,000 salary and $1.35 million target bonus. After cutting so much payroll, I bet he hits that target now! We didn’t hear one word Wednesday of Activision Blizzard executives taking similar Nintendo-like haircuts.
Blizzard Entertainment is one of the storied names in PC gaming. It set the standard for real-time strategy with Warcraft and StarCraft. World of Warcraft was a juggernaut for years, and millions still log in and play despite it launching back in 2004. Diablo helped create a genre. Hearthstone showed that card games could bring in big audiences – and big bucks. Overwatch made the team shooter accessible to even me, an old man with slow reflexes and bad eyesight. 
Best wishes for all those Activision Blizzard laid off in this bloodbath. May you find new jobs – and stable jobs – soon.
For PC gaming coverage, send news tips to Jeff Grubb and guest post submissions to Rowan Kaiser. Please be sure to visit our PC Gaming Channel.
–Jason Wilson, GamesBeat managing editor

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