NEW YORK – Microsoft has decided to lay off 1,900 employees from its console subsidiary Xbox and Activision Blizzard, several US media outlets reported on Thursday, just over three months after completing its acquisition of the video game publisher.
When AFP asked to confirm this number, which represents about 9% of the teams assigned to this activity according to an internal memo published by several media outlets, Microsoft did not immediately follow up.
In a message posted on
“This is a very difficult day,” the executive wrote, noting that Thursday was his “last day” within the company, which has 22,000 people dedicated to video games, consoles or software.
Microsoft was forced to wait more than 20 months before completing the acquisition of Activision Blizzard for $69 billion, due to regulatory obstacles that were finally removed.
In an internal message published by several American media outlets, the head of Microsoft’s video games division, Phil Spencer, justified the decision by the desire to calibrate the entity “with a sustainable cost structure.”
He pointed to “duplication” and Microsoft's intention to prioritize projects that generate potential growth.
These job cuts come at a time when other major video game players have recently announced layoffs.
On Monday, Riot Games, the publisher of League of Legends and a subsidiary of Chinese company Tencent, indicated an expected reduction in its workforce of about 11%, or 530 jobs.
At the beginning of January, streaming platform Twitch, an Amazon subsidiary that has gained popularity among “gamers,” said it planned to lay off 500 employees, or about a third of the total.
Last year, Microsoft, like most tech giants except Apple, already cut its workforce, with a first wave of job cuts of 10,000 announced in January and then followed by another over the summer.
“Hardcore beer fanatic. Falls down a lot. Professional coffee fan. Music ninja.”