The beginning of the year is not the best for the gaming industry. First, Riot Games announced mass layoffs, and now Microsoft is doing the same. Many people will be unemployed.
The gaming industry has been experiencing a real boom in recent years. Many companies are reporting record profits and it would seem that employment will only increase. Unfortunately, it’s quite the opposite. Many companies are laying off employees. Microsoft has just joined this group.
Layoffs at Microsoft
Microsoft announced that as many as 1,900 people from its gaming department will lose their jobs. Current Activision Blizzard employees will be hit the hardest, but people employed at ZeniMax (Bethesda) and Xbox itself will also resign from their positions. Among them is Mike Ybarra, the current president of Activision Blizzard.
Phil Spencer, head of the gaming department at Microsoft, announced in a note that all dismissed employees will be informed directly. Additionally, each of them will receive appropriate severance pay and support. The details are unknown, but employees can probably count on a similar package as in the case of layoffs at Riot Games.
Recently, large layoffs have occurred in, among others, Amazon Games, Ubisoft and the already mentioned Riot Games. In 2023 alone, the gaming industry laid off a total of 6,500 people. The beginning of 2024 suggests that things may get even worse in the coming 12 months. We can already talk about over 2,400 dismissed employees (over 500 at Riot Games and 1,900 at Microsoft).
Why such large layoffs in an industry that is generally doing very well? According to experts, the excessive employment that occurred during the coronavirus pandemic is of great importance. The increasing use of artificial intelligence is certainly also important.