Microsoft Cuts Nearly 2,000 Video Game Workers’ Jobs

Microsoft Cuts Nearly 2,000 Video Game Workers’ Jobs

Another day, another layoff. This time, the staff cuts are happening at Microsoft, with IGN reporting that nearly 2,000 employees at the Xbox maker were let go.

In a memo to staff obtained by IGN, Xbox boss Phil Spencer said the company is “committed to aligning on a strategy and an execution plan with a sustainable cost structure that will support the whole of our growing business.” As such, the “gaming workforce” has been slashed by approximately 8.6 percent, eliminating roughly 1,900 jobs out of the 22,000-person team. The impacted studios include Activision Blizzard, ZeniMax, and Xbox, with Spencer saying that the company is “grateful for all of the creativity, passion and dedication [these people] have brought to our games, our players, and our colleagues.”

Read More: 24 Days Into 2024 And 3,900+ Video Game Layoffs Have Been Announced

Spencer noted that this was a “painful decision” for Microsoft as a whole, clarifying that the company will “provide our full support to those who are impacted during the transition, including severance benefits informed by local employment laws.” Despite the reduction in headcount, Spencer said Microsoft remains committed to the strategy of growing the business and bringing more games to more people.

As all of this news is happening, The Verge reports that both Blizzard’s president Mike Ybarra and chief design officer Allen Adham have left the company. According to The Verge, Blizzard will announce a new president sometime next week. The studio’s in-development survival game has also been canceled as a result of these changes.

Kotaku has reached out to Microsoft for comment.

This comes about three months after Microsoft closed its $US69 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard, which saw the company take control of Call of Duty and other IPs. This also comes barely four weeks into the new year, one which has already seen the games industry get decimated by layoffs left and right, resulting in over 4,000 job losses. While 2024 might seem like a good year for games, particularly with the avalanche of releases on the horizon, it hasn’t been a good year for game workers. This sudden staff cut at Microsoft is another indication of the instability of game development.

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