Microsoft sheds 2000 employees from Activision, Xbox, ZeniMax

I honestly don't know if I could enjoy anything ever again after this.

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Time for a little inside baseball. Normally, in the morning, I do some server maintenance, check some emails, generally get ready for the day. However, when something as big as this happens from Microsoft, that all goes on hold.

This morning, Microsoft has announced that they are getting rid of 1,900 employees from Activision Blizzard and Xbox. While it seems that it is mostly ABK focused, some jobs at Xbox and ZeniMax will be affected.

This is about 8% of Microsoft’s Gaming department which had around 22,000 people. The Verge was able to get a hand on an internal memo sent from Phil Spencer, Microsoft Gaming’s CEO, that confirms the news. I’ll share that at the bottom.

On top of that bombshell, Blizzard president and Microsoft re-hire Mike Ybarra will be leaving. Microsoft will be naming a new president next week.

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.”

Microsoft’s game content and studios President Matt Booty

Blizzard’s chief design officer and co-founder Allen Adham is also departing.

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

Microsoft’s game content and studios President Matt Booty

Blizzard apparently had a survival game in the works. That is now canceled due to the changes. Booty states that Microsoft will be “shifting some of the people working on it to one of several promising new projects Blizzard has in the early stages of development.”

I want to say that people called this from the beginning. I may have missed it because I was initially so excited about this and getting Bobby Kotick out. But hindsight is always 20/20. It makes you think that if ABK was left alone, would those people still have jobs. To have a new job for only 3 months is just devastating.

It really makes it hard to enjoy anything nowadays.

As promised, here’s the memo from Phil Spencer in full:

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.

Phil

Microsoft Gaming CEO Phil Spencer

Source: The Verge

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By MajorLinux Editor-in-chief
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Marcus Summers is a Linux system administrator by trade. He has been working with Linux for nearly 15 years and has become a fan of open source ideals. He self identifies as a socialist and believes that the world's information should be free for all.
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