‘World of Warcraft’ Game Creator Blizzard Entertainment Cutting 600 Jobs

Blizzard Entertainment, maker of the online game “World of Warcraft,” is cutting about 600 jobs.

About 90 percent of the firings will come from departments not related to video-game development, the Irvine, California- based company, a unit of Activision Blizzard Inc. (ATVI), said in statement today.

Activision reduced defections from “World of Warcraft” in the fourth quarter after losing almost 1 million customers during the third quarter. The number of paying subscribers fell to 10.2 million at the end of 2011, the company said on Feb. 9. The comparable figure a quarter earlier was 10.3 million.

“As Blizzard and the industry have evolved, we’ve also had to make some difficult decisions in order to address the changing needs of our company,” Mike Morhaime, Blizzard’s chief executive officer, said in the statement.

Activision had 7,300 employees, including part-time workers, at the end of 2011, according to a company filing yesterday.

The company this year plans to release “Diablo III” and may release updates to other online games, Activision Blizzard Chief Executive Officer Bobby Kotick said in February.

Activision’s shares were unchanged at $12.04 at 2:15 p.m. in New York.

To contact the reporter on this story: Cliff Edwards in San Francisco at cedwards28@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Anthony Palazzo at apalazzo@bloomberg.net

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