Microsoft fires 1,900 workers from Activision Blizzard and Xbox

Microsoft fires 1,900 workers from Activision Blizzard and Xbox

Microsoft fires 1,900 workers from Activision Blizzard and XboxThis week, Microsoft is letting go of 1,900 workers from Activision Blizzard and Xbox. Activision Blizzard workers are the main target of Microsoft’s layoffs. Still, it affected certain employees of Xbox and ZeniMax.

The reductions amount to almost 8% of the whole workforce of Microsoft Gaming, which employs about 22,000 people. The Verge has acquired an internal memo confirming the layoffs from Phil Spencer, CEO of Microsoft Gaming:

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 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.


Blizzard president Mike Ybarra has chosen to depart the firm in addition to the layoffs.

“As many of you know, Mike previously spent more than 20 years at Microsoft. Now that he has seen the acquisition through as Blizzard’s president, he has decided to leave the company.” Says Microsoft’s game content and studios president, Matt Booty.

Next week, Microsoft intends to announce the new head of Blizzard. Allen Adham, the chief design officer of Blizzard, is also departing from the firm.

“As one of Blizzard’s cofounders, Allen has had a broad impact on all of Blizzard’s games. His influence will felt for years to come, both directly and indirectly, as Allen plans to continue mentoring young designers across the industry,” says Booty.

Blizzard has also scrapped its previously announced survival game as part of these adjustments.

“Shifting some of the people working on it to one of several promising new projects Blizzard has in the early stages of development,” according to Booty, is what Microsoft plans to do.

The layoffs come the same month Riot Games, Google, Discord and eBay announced cuts.

Microsoft completed its $68.7 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard in October. Following 20 months of battles with regulators in the UK and US.

Former Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick stepped down at the end of December, with Microsoft not appointing a direct replacement. Instead, Activision Blizzard executives now report to Matt Booty.

Today’s layoffs come just a few months after significant Xbox leadership changes. Sarah Bond promoted to Xbox president, leading all Xbox platform and hardware work. Booty also became president of game content and studios, which includes overseeing Bethesda, ZeniMax studios, and Activision Blizzard.

Microsoft last announced big layoffs a year ago, affecting 10,000 employees. The software maker is due to report its fiscal Q2 2024 earnings next week. Which, for the first time, will include results from the impact of the Activision Blizzard acquisition.

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