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Microsoft Lays Off 1,900 People Between Activision Blizzard, Xbox Divisions And Cancel’s Blizzard’s New Survival Game

Three months after Microsoft officially closed the deal on its Activision Blizzard acquisition, the tech giant has announced it will layoff 1,900 people from its Xbox and Activision Blizzard divisions.

A report from The Verge provides an internal memo sent from Microsoft Gaming boss Phil Spencer, which says that this layoff is part of “a strategy and an execution plan with a sustainable cost structure that will support the whole of our gaming business.”

You can read the entire statement, below.

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.

Phil

As a result of the layoffs, Blizzard’s previously announced upcoming survival game has also been cancelled. Blizzard president Mike Ybarra has also announced his decision to leave the company.

Ybarra confirmed his departure on Twitter, calling this “an incredibly hard day.”

Allen Adham, a co-founder of Blizzard and the chief design officer, has also announced that he will be leaving the company. In the case of Ybarra and Adham, both departures are presented as choices made by each person, not that they are being let go.

As these layoffs continue, they continue to be depressing, and make the games industry look like arguably the most unstable place to be working in now.

Others are also quick to point out other realities of the situation – like games industry business lawyer Richard Hoeg, who points out that ABK was already a giant publisher in its own right.

There were always going to be people doing the same job on both sides, and it’s unrealistic to think all those people would still be needed.

Still, that doesn’t make this layoff any less saddening to see, especially when it’s not even yet the second month of the year and thousands of people are now out of a job.

While, again, the executives and the people responsible for decisions that lead to layoffs, still have a job.

It’s also an upsetting note, as indie developer Rami Ismail points out, that this layoff now puts 2024 more than halfway towards 2023’s total layoffs.

Hopefully those impacted by these layoffs are able to land on their feet soon, hopefully on more stable ground.

Source – [The Verge]