Microsoft lays off 1,900 employees at Activision Blizzard and Xbox

Microsoft plans to lay off 1,900 employees in its gaming division, which is approximately 8% of Microsoft Gaming's workforce. Most of the layoffs included employees of the recently acquired company Activision Blizzard. The Xbox and ZeniMax teams will also lose some employees.

Microsoft Announces Acquisition Of Activision Blizzard

The Verge managed to get their hands over an internal note from Microsoft Gaming CEO Phil Spencer. It confirms a new wave of cuts.


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 1900 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.


President Mike Ybarra has announced his departure from Blizzard, following over 20 years at Microsoft before his move to Blizzard in 2021. During his tenure, he played a pivotal role in facilitating Microsoft's acquisition of Activision Blizzard. The name of the new president of Blizzard is expected to be revealed next week.

Additionally, Allen Adham, the chief designer and co-founder of Blizzard, is also stepping down. Matt Booty, President of Game Content and Studios at Microsoft, acknowledges Adham's significant influence on Blizzard's game portfolio. Adham has expressed his intention to transition into a mentorship role for aspiring game designers within the industry.

Furthermore, the highly-anticipated fantasy survival game, codenamed Project Odyssey, has been canceled due to recent restructuring. In response, Microsoft plans to reallocate some of the project's personnel to support the development of several promising new Blizzard projects currently in their early stages.

After grappling with regulators in the UK and US for 20 months, Microsoft successfully finalized its acquisition of Activision Blizzard for $68.7 billion in October 2023.


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Author: Sergey Tkachenko

Sergey Tkachenko is a software developer who started Winaero back in 2011. On this blog, Sergey is writing about everything connected to Microsoft, Windows and popular software. Follow him on Telegram, Twitter, and YouTube.

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