Microsoft Lets Go of 1,900 Employees at Activision Blizzard and Xbox, Cancels Survival Game

In a sad turn of events, Microsoft is letting go of 1,900 employees from its gaming division, including personnel from the recently acquired Activision Blizzard.

As reported by The Verge, the number amounts to about 8% of the total workforce, which is around 22,000 personnel.

Xbox boss Phil Spencer shares a tough message regarding the Microsoft layoffs:

It’s been a little over three months since the Activision, Blizzard, and King teams joined Microsoft. As we move forward in 2024, the leadership of Microsoft Gaming and Activision Blizzard 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. Together, we’ve set priorities, identified areas of overlap, and ensured that we’re all aligned on the best opportunities for growth.

As part of this process, we have made the painful decision to reduce the size of our gaming workforce by approximately 1900 roles out of the 22,000 people on our team. The Gaming Leadership Team and I are committed to navigating this process as thoughtfully as possible. The people who are directly impacted by these reductions have all played an important part in the success of Activision Blizzard, ZeniMax and the Xbox teams, and they should be proud of everything they’ve accomplished here. We are grateful for all of the creativity, passion and dedication they have brought to our games, our players and our colleagues. We will provide our full support to those who are impacted during the transition, including severance benefits informed by local employment laws. Those whose roles will be impacted will be notified, and we ask that you please treat your departing colleagues with the respect and compassion that is consistent with our values.

Looking ahead, we’ll continue to invest in areas that will grow our business and support our strategy of bringing more games to more players around the world. Although this is a difficult moment for our team, I’m as confident as ever in your ability to create and nurture the games, stories and worlds that bring players together.

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Additionally, a couple of high-profile personalities are also leaving. Blizzard President Mike Ybarra has announced that he is leaving the company. Along with him, Blizzard Chief Design Officer Allen Adham is also leaving.

Project Odyssey, the survival game that has been in development for over six years, has been canceled as well.

According to Daniel Ahmad, the number of layoffs in 2024, and just in January alone, is already nearly 60% of the total number of layoffs in 2023.

Microsoft has just completed its acquisition of Activision Blizzard, and with large-scale acquisitions, layoffs like these are almost inevitable due to the number of redundant positions.

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