As if 2023’s historic quantity of gaming layoffs wasn’t sufficient, 2024 is beginning in the very same vein—studios together with CI Video games, Behaviour Interactive, and Riot Video games have all let individuals go in January, and now it is Microsoft’s flip. A message from Microsoft Gaming CEO Phil Spencer to staff (through The Verge) says 1,900 staff are being laid off.

The message reads: “It’s been a bit of over three months for the reason that Activision, Blizzard, and King groups joined Microsoft. As we move ahead in 2024, the management of Microsoft Gaming and Activision Blizzard is dedicated to aligning on a method and an execution plan with a sustainable value construction that can help the entire of our rising enterprise.”

It emphasises “areas of overlap” as the foundation trigger for the choice. “We have now made the painful resolution to scale back the dimensions of our gaming workforce by roughly 1,900 roles out of the 22,000 individuals on our crew.”

President of Blizzard Mike Ybarra additionally introduced that he could be stepping down from his place, writing on Twitter: “Right now is my final day at Blizzard. Main Blizzard by means of an unimaginable time and being a part of the crew, shaping it for the longer term forward, 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 (as soon as once more) grow to be Blizzard’s largest fan from the surface.”

(Picture credit score: @Qwik on Twitter/X.)

Nonetheless, Ybarra’s has beforehand indicated a need to stick with the corporate. In response to Bloomberg’s Jason Schreier on Twitter, Ybarra mentioned in November 2023 that somebody would “drag [him] out of Blizzard … That is how lengthy I might be right here.” Whether or not he is merely modified his thoughts or whether or not his departure was prompted by the layoffs, it is laborious to say. 

The Verge report additionally states that Blizzard co-founder and chief design officer Allen Adham might be leaving the corporate. Microsoft’s Matt Booty wrote: “As certainly one of Blizzard’s cofounders, Allen has had a broad impression on all of Blizzard’s video games. His affect might be felt for years to return, each straight and not directly.”

Booty additionally introduced the top of Blizzard’s survival game (rumoured to be named Odyssey) to employees: “Blizzard is ending growth on its survival game venture and might be shifting a few of the individuals engaged on it to certainly one of a number of promising new initiatives Blizzard has within the early phases of growth.”

The layoff of almost 2,000 individuals represents the darkish aspect of huge acquisitions like this one. Usually, main restructuring follows as the opposite shoe drops. Whereas the memo factors in the direction of the “Activision Blizzard, ZeniMax and the Xbox groups”, it is not clear how the layoffs have been weighted throughout Microsoft’s gaming builders.

Spencer says the corporate will “present our full help to those that are impacted throughout the transition, together with severance advantages knowledgeable by native employment legal guidelines.”