Microsoft lays off 1900 Activision Blizzard and Xbox employees

  • As it pursues a more focused strategy aligned with sustainable growth Microsoft has decided to cut a host of employees it inherited recently.
  • As many as 1 900 employees from Activision Blizzard and Xbox are being let go.
  • This after Microsoft achieved a valuation of $3 trillion.

At the end of last year, Microsoft wrapped up its acquisition of Activision Blizzard and now, after reaching a valuation of $3 trillion, it’s decided to lay off as many as 1900 employees.

The job cuts are predominantly of Activision Blizzard employees, but also impact some Xbox and ZeniMax employees. In total, roughly 8 percent of the Microsoft Gaming division was let go.

While we recognise that Microsoft wouldn’t have been able to keep all of Activision Blizzard’s employees on board, the fact that these layoffs came moments after Microsoft achieved a $3 trillion valuation is not going to sit well. For the last year the gaming industry has been beset by layoffs

Among the jobs lost this week Blizzard president Mike Ybarra made the decision to leave the company.

“I want to thank everyone who is impacted today for their meaningful contributions to their teams, to Blizzard, and to players’ lives. It’s an incredibly hard day and my energy and support will be focused on all those amazing individuals impacted – this is in no way a reflection on your amazing work,” Ybarra said in a post on X, formerly Twitter.

The former president said his door was open to former employees who were impacted by the cuts. That is likely of little solace to developers, community managers, and others who are now jobless with less than a week to go before the end of the month.

On X, formerly Twitter, Blizzard employees have been announcing that they have been laid off and it’s jarring to see what has become a constant stream of folks announcing they are looking for work.

An internal memo from Microsoft Gaming chief executive officer Phil Spencer, published by The Verge, thanked employees and outlined the support they would receive should they be impacted by the job cuts.

“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,” said Spencer.

The cuts seem to not only affect Activision Blizzard and Xbox employees Stateside, but also in the Asia Pacific and Europe Middle East and Africa regions.

“No matter the reason behind these decisions, they are never made lightly. Changes like these affect the lives of colleagues and friends, and we are all grateful for their meaningful contributions to Blizzard and its world class lineup of games. As Phil stated, we will provide our full support to those who are impacted during the transition, including severance benefits informed by local employment laws,” president of game content and studios at Microsoft, Matt Booty said in a statement.

The cuts come as Microsoft tries to move forward with a “more focused strategy” that sets the firm up for sustainable growth. We’re not entirely sure what that means and we’re not exactly buying the fact that a company that just spent nearly $69 billion to acquire a studio and is now worth $3 trillion, is searching for coins in the couch.

The state of the gaming industry is mighty concerning what with all the job cuts happening of late. This week Riot Games announced layoffs and we’re sure that there will be more coming soon from other studios. When the dust settles it’s unclear what the industry will look like.


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