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Microsoft to cut around 1,900 video game jobs

About 8.6% of its total gaming workforce
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Update (January 25, 2024, 3:43pm CET): More details about the massive Microsoft layoffs are emerging. Blizzard president Mike Ybarra, who formerly worked at Xbox, will be departing the company as well. In a statement he said:

I want to thank everyone who is impacted today for their meaningful contributions to their teams, to Blizzard, and to players’ lives. It’s an incredibly hard day and my energy and support will be focused on all those amazing individuals impacted – this is in no way a reflection on your amazing work. If there’s anything I can help with, connections, recommendations, etc., DM me.

To the Blizzard community: I also want to let you all know today is my last day at Blizzard. Leading Blizzard through an incredible time and being part of the team, shaping it for the future ahead, was an absolute honor. Having already spent 20+ years at Microsoft and with the acquisition of Activision Blizzard behind us, it’s time for me to (once again) become Blizzard’s biggest fan from the outside.

To the incredible teams at Blizzard - thank you. Words can’t express how I feel about all of you. You are amazing. Continue to do incredible things and always keep Blizzard blue and the player at the forefront of every decision.

To all of those impacted today - I am always available to you and understand how challenging today’s news is. My heart is with each one of you.

Chief Design Officer Allen Adham will be leaving alongside Ybarra. According to Microsoft's Matt Booty the previously announced survival game Blizzard had been working on has been canceled with its team being assigned to "one of several promising new projects Blizzard has in the early stages of development."

Original (January 25, 2024, 3:36pm CET): Microsoft will lay off around 1,900 employees from its video game business, according to an internal message sent to staff by Xbox chief Phil Spencer that was obtained and published by IGN. That’s about 8.6% of Microsoft’s total gaming-related workforce of around 22,000 people. Employees at Xbox, ZeniMax, and Activision Blizzard will be affected by this move.

It looks like overlap between roles that was created by Microsoft’s $69 billion USD acquisition of Activision Blizzard in 2023 is partly the reason behind the layoffs.

Xbox logo on a field of stars in the background.

Microsoft and Xbox won't be exceptions from the current mass layoffs in the industry.

You can read the full message as shared by IGN below:

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 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. 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.


Drastic layoffs in the video game industry have unfortunately been an enduring feature of 2023 and the start of 2024. Earlier this week Riot Games announced it would cut over 500 jobs.

We’ll update this developing story as more details become available.