Microsoft is making major cuts to its workforce. Yesterday we announced that the company was looking at laying off 5% of its employees worldwide ahead of some dramatic changes across its various divisions. It seems that, unlike the 2022 layoff which mainly affected customer service, partner and consulting solutions, these layoffs are much broader. According to reports, staff at the Xbox division, Bethesda Studios and 343 Industries have been axed.
According to Bloomberg, Microsoft is specifically cutting jobs in its gaming divisions. Sources claim that 343 Industries, the makers of Halo Infinite, have been hit hard by these layoffs. This comes in wake of a long-running hiring freeze and contractual departures at the studio. While this isn’t great news, it is also not surprising. 343 Industries struggled to get Halo Infinite completed and since it launched, with half the content, the player base has dwindled.
343 Industries is especially cutting back on the Halo Infinite campaign team. In an email sent to staff members, studio head Pierre Hintze says that Microsoft is restructuring the studio and various elements of the team. As a result, some roles are being eliminated.
Bethesda is also another firm being hit by layoffs. Microsoft acquired the company back in 2020 and since, there hasn’t been much movement. The company is currently focusing on Starfield which was originally set to launch in November last year. However, it was delayed to 2023. Reports claim that Starfield won’t make its original “first half of 2023” launch date either.
The mass layoff at Microsoft comes exactly a year after the company announced its intentions to purchase Activision Blizzard. The deal which would cost $69 billion has also been hindered by lawsuits and delays over its effects on the gaming industry. Microsoft is hoping to have the deal signed off by the end of 2023. However, recent complaints by the EU Commission and a lawsuit filed by the FTC might delay this further.
The company aims to make $1.2 billion in cuts with these layoffs.