1900 Activision Blizzard and Xbox staff laid off, survival game cancelled

Microsoft has confirmed it is set to lay off 1900 members of staff who work across Xbox and the newly acquired Activision Blizzard.

First announced back at the start of 2022, Microsoft’s £57billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard was finally approved last October but today (January 25), the company has confirmed roughly 9 per cent of its gaming division has been laid off.

Most of the staff affected work for Activision Blizzard but some Xbox and ZeniMax employees will also be impacted. Activision Vision president Mike Ybarra is set to leave the company alongside Blizzard’s chief design officer, Allen Adham.

According to an internal memo seen by Verge, Microsoft blamed the cuts on their “commitment to align on a strategy and an execution plan with a sustainable cost structure that will support the whole of our growing business.”

“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,” Phil Spencer continued before promising to provide Microsoft’s “full support” to those who are impacted.

“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,” he added.

Taking to social media, Ybarra wrote: “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. My heart is with each one of you.”

To the incredible teams at Blizzard, you are amazing. Continue to do incredible things and always keep Blizzard blue and the player at the forefront of every decision,” he continued.

Alongside the lay-offs, Microsoft has also confirmed that the survival game Blizzard announced in 2022 has been cancelled with some members of staff shifting to work on “one of several promising new projects Blizzard has in the early stages of development.”

It was set to be the first new IP from the company since 2016’s Overwatch.

Earlier this week Riot Games laid off over 500 members of staff and cancelled development on all League Of Legends spin-off titles while last month, Twitch’s CEO claimed the streaming platform “wasn’t profitable” after another round of job cuts.

In other news, fans are speculating that a Legend Of Zelda theme park could be in the works after producer Eiji Aonuma was spotted in a behind-the-scenes video at Orlando’s Universal Studios.

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