Microsoft lays off 1,900 staff members after Activision Blizzard acquisition

Microsoft lays off 1,900 staff members after Activision Blizzard acquisition
Image via Microsoft

Written by 

Joseph Kime


25th Jan 2024 14:35

Microsoft has just announced that it will be laying off 1,900 members of staff in the gaming division, sure to hit the Xbox side of the company. The news comes from a devastating report, as revealed by IGN.

The announcement has come with a memo from Xbox boss Phil Spencer, who revealed that this action follows a new strategy put in place to manage its ownership of Activision Blizzard King.

Spencer adds at the end of the memo that the company's focus is now on growing even further, despite revealing that this same hopeful growth has led to 1,900 people losing their jobs.

Phil Spencer's statement on Microsoft's layoffs

Phil Spencer speaking at the reveal of Halo Infinite.
Click to enlarge
Image via Xbox

Here's Phil Spencer's memo in full: "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 1,900 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." The announcement comes after Riot Games announced that it will be letting go of 530 of its own team members.

Mike Ybarra leaves Activision Blizzard

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Following this news, and following the announcement that disgraced CEO Bobby Kotick is on his way out too, Blizzard president Mike Ybarra has announced that he is officially stepping down from the company as of today (January 25).

"To the incredible teams at Blizzard - thank you," he says. "Words can’t express how I feel about all of you. You are amazing. Continue to do incredible things and always keep Blizzard blue and the player at the forefront of every decision."

These changes are brutal, and this changing of the guard has been a massive shock. This level of layoffs in any company is a failure in any case, and we're sending our love to those who have been affected.

Joseph Kime is the Senior Trending News Journalist for GGRecon from Devon, UK. Before graduating from MarJon University with a degree in Journalism, he started writing music reviews for his own website before writing for the likes of FANDOM, Zavvi and The Digital Fix. He is host of the Big Screen Book Club podcast, and author of Building A Universe, a book that chronicles the history of superhero movies. His favourite games include DOOM (2016), Celeste and Pokemon Emerald.

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