1,900 Activision Blizzard, Bethesda Employees Laid Off by Microsoft

Don’t say we didn’t tell you this would happen…

By Robert Marrujo. Posted 01/26/2024 09:29 Comment on this     ShareThis

You might recall that when the Microsoft Acquisition of Activision Blizzard finalized in October of last year, this writer made a point of saying that layoffs would be inevitable—and here we are, with 1,900 employees now laid off. Microsoft has made the decision to release workers from its Activision Blizzard and Bethesda studios. Xbox head Phil Spencer made the following statement regarding the layoffs:

“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.

Phil Spencer, executive vice president of Gaming for Microsoft Corp.

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.”

Note that Spencer seems to intentionally draw attention to the fact that Microsoft had 22,000 employees on its roster of game developers, likely try and soften the release of nearly 2,000 workers. Whether or not that will actually resonate with consumers, many of whom have become quite jaded regarding layoffs from game companies that remain highly profitable, is yet to be seen. This isn’t the first shakeup in recent times for Activision Blizzard, as its longtime, controversial CEO Bobby Kotick stepped down from his role this past December. Despite becoming wholly owned by Microsoft, Activision Blizzard, at least as of this writing, remains committed to producing titles across all gaming platforms. How these layoffs will impact the various series that Xbox produces on Nintendo hardware is unknown, but we will continue to report on this as the story develops.

In the interim, we offer our sincere condolences to those who were impacted by these layoffs.

Source: GamesIndustry.biz

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