Microsoft video games division lays off almost 2000 staff

A workforce reduction looms for almost 2,000 employees within Microsoft’s gaming division following the finalization of its $69 billion (£54.3 billion) merger deal. Xbox leader Phil Spencer, in a memo to staff, outlined the company’s plan to trim 1,900 positions from its current workforce of 22,000. This announcement comes about three months after Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision-Blizzard, known for popular franchises such as Call of Duty and Warcraft.

Microsoft has verified the authenticity of the memo, where Mr. Spencer acknowledges the painful nature of the decision to let go of employees. Originally reported by The Verge, the message suggests that individuals within the Xbox division and those associated with publisher Zenimax, overseeing studios like Bethesda and Arkane, will also be affected by the upcoming workforce changes.

A subsequent communication, independently confirmed by Microsoft and disclosed by The Verge, was dispatched to Blizzard employees by Matt Booty, the head of Microsoft Studios.

In this correspondence, Booty communicated that meetings with impacted personnel were scheduled to transpire over the course of the day, with notifications for employees outside North America anticipated to follow at a later time.

Similar to Mr. Spencer’s message, Booty’s letter reiterated the commitment of the company to offer comprehensive support, encompassing severance benefits tailored to comply with local employment laws.

Furthermore, the communication verified the cessation of development on a survival game project widely recognized as Odyssey.


Duncan is a technology professional with over 20 years experience of working in various IT roles. He has a interest in cyber security, and has a wide range of other skills in radio, electronics and telecommunications.

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