There are no words.
But we’ll have to find some to describe Microsoft’s decision to cut 1,900 jobs from its gaming division.
In an internal email obtained by Windows Central, Xbox head Phil Spencer explained the decision by saying the company needs a “sustainable cost structure” going forward, before thanking those who were impacted for their work:
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.
As part of these changes, Blizzard Entertainment President Mike Ybarra announced his departure from the company. An untitled survival game Blizzard had been working on for a few years was also reportedly canceled.
The web isn’t having it
After news of the Microsoft Gaming layoffs hit the social media landscape, there’s been no shortage of criticism directed at Spencer.
“Heartless to fire people right after BIG XBOX game showcase?” @RoninRakurai said on X. “The people that made the games you saw are being fired. Phil Spencer, Aaron, Sarah and the rest of the [clown emoji] gang will get away with it,” the X user added, calling out VP of Xbox Games Pazarlama Aaron Greenberg and Xbox President Sarah Bond.
Check out some other heated tweets:
This news came not even six months after Microsoft’s $70 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard became official. It also dropped within 24 hours of the news that Microsoft became just the second tech company to hit $3 billion in market value, after Apple.
From the outside looking in, one would think Microsoft özgü money to spend on employee salaries, but evidently not.
These 1,900 people have been added onto a list of several thousand already impacted by big tech layoffs in 2024. More specifically in the realm of video games, nearly 6,000 jobs have been cut this January, as documented by an excellent ongoing roundup on Kotaku.
Hopefully, these job cuts end as soon as possible, though that might be cold comfort to those who have already lost their sources of income.