Microsoft cuts 1,900 jobs at Activision Blizzard and Xbox

25 January 2024, 16:34

A gaming lounge in a Microsoft store
New Microsoft flagship store. Picture: PA

The gaming giant completed its 69 billion US dollar takeover of Activision last year.

Microsoft is cutting around 1,900 jobs in its gaming division, including within its Xbox team.

The cuts will primarily impact roles at recently acquired games developer Activision Blizzard, but some Xbox staff at Microsoft-owned games publisher ZeniMax will also be affected by the cuts.

Microsoft has not directly commented on the cuts, but in a memo seen by US tech news site The Verge, Microsoft Gaming chief executive Phil Spencer said the cuts were part of a plan to move to a “sustainable cost structure” that could “support the whole of our growing business”.

The US technology giant completed its 69 billion US dollar (£54 billion) takeover of Activision Blizzard, the maker of Call of Duty, late last year.

According to reports, the cuts represent around 8% of Microsoft’s gaming division, which is said to consist of around 22,000 employees.

Microsoft has not confirmed if any UK-based staff will be affected.

Alongside the job cuts, Blizzard president Mike Ybarra confirmed that he was leaving the company.

In a post on X, formerly Twitter, he also thanked staff impacted by the job cuts.

“I want to thank everyone who is impacted today for their meaningful contributions to their teams, to Blizzard, and to players’ lives,” he said.

“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.”

He added: “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 honour.

“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.”

By Press Association

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