NEW YORK – Microsoft will lay off 1,900 employees at its Xbox console subsidiary and Activision Blizzard, several American media outlets said on Thursday, barely more than three months after completing its takeover of the video game publisher.
Microsoft did not immediately respond to AFP's request to confirm this figure, which represents about 9% of teams dedicated to this activity, according to an internal memo published by several media outlets.
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“This is an incredibly difficult day,” the manager wrote, noting that Thursday was his “last day” at the company, where 22,000 employees are responsible for video games, consoles or software.
Microsoft had to wait more than 20 months to complete its $69 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard as regulatory hurdles were finally cleared.
In an internal letter published by several American media outlets, Microsoft's head of video games, Phil Spencer, justified the decision with the desire to align the company with “a sustainable cost structure.”
He pointed to “duplication” and Microsoft’s intention to prioritize projects that generate potential growth.
These job cuts come at a time when other major video game companies have recently announced layoffs.
On Monday, Riot Games, publisher of the game League of Legends and a subsidiary of China's Tencent, announced the upcoming reduction of its workforce by around 11%, or 530 jobs.
At the beginning of January, the streaming platform Twitch, an Amazon subsidiary popular with gamers, announced that it wanted to lay off 500 employees, around a third of the total.
Last year, Microsoft, like most tech giants with the notable exception of Apple, had already been cutting its workforce, with an initial wave of 10,000 job cuts announced in January, followed by another wave in the summer.