Microsoft cuts 1,900 jobs in the gaming sector with Activision Blizzard hit hardest
The Verge first reported the layoffs courtesy of a memo delivered to the Microsoft Gaming department, an entity entrusted with gaming matters. The memo was distributed by Phil Spencer, president of Microsoft Gaming. In his communication, Spencer disclosed that approximately 1,900 employees from the 22,000-strong team would lose their jobs.
Most of the layoffs would be hitting employees of Activision Blizzard, which Microsoft acquired in October 2023 for close to 69 billion dollars. Positions will also disappear within the ZeniMax staff and the Xbox team.
Based on reports from The Verge, Spencer informed employees that Microsoft Gaming and Activision Blizzard's management had orchestrated a new strategic plan, resulting in these layoffs.
"Together, we established priorities, highlighted areas of overlap, and synchronized on optimum development opportunities. Through this process, we arrived at the unfortunate decision to downsize our workforce by about 1,900 out of the 22,000 contributors within our team," iterated Spencer.
"We're committed to conducting this process with empathy and respect. It's important to note that those impacted by these changes have played a significant role in the accomplishments of the Activision Blizzard, ZeniMax, and Xbox teams, and they've earned their right to feel proud of their achievements," added Spencer.
"As we look forward, we'll continue to invest in domains that develop our business and align with our strategy to deliver more games to a growing global audience," he declared.
Adding to the turmoil, The Verge reports that Mike Ybarra, president of Blizzard, has decided to step down from the company.
Last year experienced layoffs too
It's worth noting that this sector experienced similar dismissals in January 2024, which were implemented by other companies such as Google, Discord, and Twitch. The Verge also points out that this isn't the first wave of layoffs within Microsoft itself recently. Last year, the tech titan bid farewell to 10,000 employees.