Update, 9:24PM: A Blizzard representative told onGamers:
"Actually, what’s happening is we’ve had separate teams doing similar functions in our San Francisco and Irvine offices. So we’ve identified opportunities to consolidate the teams where it made sense and we have about 10-15 people in San Francisco we’d like to relocate to Irvine. The rest of the employees will remain in our San Francisco office. As a result of these changes, regrettably, David Ting has decided to embark on a new opportunity. He will remain with Blizzard for a number of months to oversee the transition while consulting on various projects."
Update, 8:01PM: David Ting has confirmed to onGamers that he will be leaving Blizzard Entertainment, as relocation requests have come in for Blizzard SF staffers to move to Irvine. Ting's statement is below.
Due to the relocation of major portions of the SF team to Irvine, I have decided it is time for me to pursue other opportunities within the Bay Area. I will be staying with Blizzard for a period of time to help with the transition as well as continue working on a few corporate initiatives. I have enjoyed my time at Blizzard as an employee and as an avid player of their games, and look forward to more exciting games to come.
Update, 3:03PM: Kevin Knocke tweets that he is still employed at Blizzard. When called sources reaffirm that there have been serious layoffs in the San Francisco office.
Original Story: Multiple anonymous sources close to the situation confirmed early this morning that a large portion of the Blizzard Entertainment employees operating out Blizzard's San Francisco office have been laid off. This includes many of the former IGN Pro League team that came on board in April of last year when the league's technology and assets were acquired by the developer. At the time of the acquisition GameSpot reported that a total of twenty-three employees had come over from IPL.
The most well known of those laid off include former General Manager and Senior Vice President, eSports at IGN Entertainment David Ting and Kevin Knocke, who had held multiple positions at IGN eSports over the course of his two year stint at IGN. Ting had been working as Head of Online Publishing for Blizzard while Knocke worked as Manager of Online Broadcasting.
In addition to those let go from online publishing and broadcasting sources note the entire video department in the office was also laid off. Engineering was reintegrated with the rest of the company, and currently has two job listings at the San Francisco office on Blizzard's career website.
Out of the employees kept at the San Francisco office there are members of the esports division, though the names won't be immediately recognizable for most of the esports community. onGamers was able to confirm that the following employees had been kept:
- Adrian Harris, Assistant eSports Manager
- Robb Chiarini, Events Manager, Partnerships & eSports
- Yvette Yturralde, Motions Graphic Designer
Those confirmed affected, such as Ting and Knocke, currently sport Blizzard job titles on social media like LinkedIn and Twitter. onGamers will track the story as it progresses.