Microsoft will let go of 1,900 employees at Activision Blizzard and Xbox this week, it said on Thursday, the latest cuts in the technology sector that has extended massive layoffs over the past years into 2024.
The majority of the cuts, which amount to approximately 8% of the whole Microsoft Gaming division, will be made at Activision Blizzard.
Along with the departure of Chief Design Officer Allen Adham and Blizzard President Mike Ybarra, Microsoft also revealed that Blizzard’s previously planned survival game has been shelved.
The announcement comes months after Microsoft finalized a $69 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard, strengthening its position in the video game business with hits like “Call of Duty” and enabling it to take on market leader Sony.
“Microsoft’s announcement that it will be laying off 1,900 video game workers makes clear that, even when you work at a successful company in an extremely profitable industry, your livelihood is not protected without a voice on the job,” Communications Workers of America (CWA) said.
“We will continue to support workers at Microsoft and across the video game industry who want to have a union voice on the job,” it added.
In an effort to reduce expenses and increase profitability, a number of other large companies, including Alphabet, Amazon, eBay, and opens new tab, have also made thousands of employee layoffs in recent weeks.
According to tracking website Layoffs.fyi, 76 tech companies laid off over 21,000 employees in January overall.
In 2023, the tech industry lost 168,032 jobs, making it the industry with the most layoffs overall, per a report released earlier this month by Challenger, Gray, and Christmas. At Microsoft, that entailed over 10,000 layoffs.
Analysts and industry experts have said they expect fewer layoffs this year, with firms that are racing to catch up in the AI space more likely to downsize to offset the billions of dollars they are spending on the technology.
The Verge was the first to report the news on the latest job cuts by Microsoft.