Microsoft is set to layoff 1,900 employees at Activision Blizzard and Xbox, representing approximately 8% of the overall Microsoft Gaming division, as part of efforts to streamline operations and optimise resources after its $69 billion Activision acquisition.
The majority of the cuts will occur at Activision Blizzard. Notably, Blizzard President Mike Ybarra and Chief Design Officer Allen Adham will be departing from the company. Additionally, Microsoft has disclosed the cancellation of a previously announced survival game by Blizzard.
This move follows a broader trend in the technology sector, where significant layoffs have been witnessed in recent weeks. Several major companies, including Google, Amazon.com, and eBay, have laid off workers, with eBay announcing 1,000 layoffs just this week. The technology sector experienced 168,032 job cuts in 2023, making it the industry with the highest number of layoffs, according to a report by Challenger, Gray and Christmas.
While Microsoft is known for its significant presence and investments in the technology space, the company is not immune to the industry’s shifts and challenges. The tech giant has described the layoffs as a move to align resources, enhance efficiency, and navigate the evolving landscape of the gaming industry. Microsoft also aims to capitalise on the deal with Activision Blizzard, which brought successful titles like Call of Duty under its umbrella.
Despite the challenges and workforce reductions, the technology industry continues to invest in areas such as artificial intelligence (AI) and other emerging technologies to maintain competitiveness and innovation.