Microsoft Activision

Microsoft will be laying off 1,900 workers across its gaming divisions, an IGN report reveals. Divisions affected include internal teams at Microsoft, Bethesda, and the recently acquired Activision Blizzard. In a message sent to staff, Xbox head Phil Spencer said those affected will receive "severance benefits informed by local employment laws" as well as additional support.

Spencer explained the job cuts are a result of "aligning on a strategy and an execution plan with a sustainable cost structure that will support the whole of our growing business". Priorities have been set and areas between the two companies that overlap have been identified to ensure the two firms can jointly grow.

He continues: "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." Spencer said Microsoft is grateful for all those who contributed "creativity, passion, and dedication" to the games they worked on. As part of the layoffs, Blizzard president Mike Ybarra has announced he's leaving the company, and the developer's survival game Odyssey has been cancelled.

While the likes of Activision and Bethesda are now focused on delivering titles for Xbox Series X|S, franchises like Call of Duty and select Bethesda games continue to launch and receive support on PS5, PS4. It is very likely these layoffs will affect development times and content production, after Microsoft purchased the Activision slate of developers for $69 billion last year.

This latest round of layoffs — following cuts at Outriders developer People Can Fly and the Destroy All Humans! remake team Black Forest Games — means close to 6,000 video game developers have lost their jobs since the start of the year alone. That's more than half the number of total layoffs that occurred throughout the whole of 2023.