Microsoft to lay off 1900 people across Xbox and Activision Blizzard

Microsoft is laying off 1900 people across the video game teams, including Activision Blizzard, ZeniMax and Xbox, equating to approximately eight percent of its gaming workforce.

In an internal email seen by The Verge, Microsoft’s gaming head Phil Spencer called this a «painful decision».

«It’s been a little over three months since the Activision, Blizzard, and King teams joined Microsoft,» Spencer wrote in his email to staff. «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.

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«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.»

The layoffs follow Microsoft’s $69bn acquisition of Activision Blizzard last year, and $7.5bn acquisition of Zenimax in 2021.

This story is developing.

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