Microsoft lays off 1,900 in gaming department

The company had a significant amount of overlap with Activision Blizzard, which it acquired last year.

Layoffs are continuing in the tech industry, with Microsoft’s gaming department being the latest to be hit. 

Microsoft is laying off around 1,900 employees in the department. 


The big picture: The layoffs come after Microsoft acquired Activision Blizzard for $69 billion. 

  • In total, Microsoft is cutting about nine percent of its employees in Activision Blizzard and Xbox. 
  • Mike Ybarra, the president of Blizzard Entertainment, is leaving the company as part of the move, as well as Blizzard co-founder Allen Adham. 

What they’re saying: Microsoft Gaming CEO Phil Spencer said in a memo to employees that the company has identified areas of overlap between Xbox and Activision Blizzard since acquisition a few months ago. 

  • “The Gaming Leadership Team and I are committed to navigating this process as thoughtfully as possible,” Spencer said. “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.” 
  • Spencer said Microsoft is grateful for all of the creativity, passion and dedication that the affected employees have brought. 
  • “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,” Spencer said. “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.” 
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