According to the Verge, Microsoft Gaming CEO Phil Spencer announced the start of layoffs in the company. Under the reduction, 8% of the gaming division, which totals 22 thousand people, will be laid off.

Microsoft Gaming employees today received the following letter:

It’s only been a little over three months since the Activision, Blizzard and King teams joined Microsoft. We are now moving forward into 2024. Microsoft Gaming and Activision Blizzard leadership have strategized with a sustainable cost structure to support our growing business. We prioritized, identified areas of overlap, made sure we came to a common denominator in terms of where best to grow.

As part of this process, we made the painful decision to reduce the size of our gaming team by about 1,900 people (22,000 total). The leadership of the gaming department, with me at the helm, will try to conduct the layoffs as thoughtfully as possible. The people directly affected by these layoffs have been instrumental in the success of Activision Blizzard, ZeniMax, and the Xbox teams. They should be proud of everything they’ve accomplished here. We are grateful for the creativity, passion, and hard work they put into our games. We will support those affected by the layoffs, including severance pay by local labor laws. Those whose positions are directly affected by the layoffs will be informed. We ask that laid-off colleagues be treated with respect and empathy – in line with our values.

Looking to the future: we will continue to invest in areas that will contribute to the growth of our business. We remain committed to our strategy of striving to bring as many games to as many players as possible around the world. While this is a challenging time for our team, I have absolute confidence in your ability to create and develop games that unite players.

Blizzard’s founder and president have left after Microsoft’s announcement

Following the news of massive layoffs at Microsoft Gaming, Mike Ybarra, who has been president of Blizzard Entertainment since February 2022 and previously served as one of its top executives for over a year, announced his resignation.

Today is my last day at Blizzard. It has been an incredible honor to run Blizzard at such an incredible time, to be part of its team, to shape its future. But after more than 20 years at Microsoft and the completion of the Activision Blizzard acquisition, it’s time to (re)become a fan of the company again, watching its history from the sidelines

Mike Ybarra

As journalist Jason Schreier points out, even though the official statement from Microsoft Studios head Matt Booty says that Ibarra decided to leave the position alone, things aren’t clear-cut. Just a couple of months ago, last November, at BlizzCon, Ybarra told a reporter that he planned to work at the company for as long as possible- until he was kicked out of Blizzard.

Along with Ibarra, Allen Adham, one of the three co-founders of Blizzard Entertainment, left the company.

He had previously left the company before. Adham first left the company in 2004, right after the release of World of Warcraft. He was the lead designer for the game.

In 2016, Adham returned to lead new product development and IP. Specifically, as Chief Design Officer, he was responsible for the game design teams of Overwatch 2, Diablo IV, and WarCraft Rumble.

It all looks like Microsoft will eradicate the scourge of companies players completely hated. The whole restructuring is aimed at improving the company. Right now, the entire gaming community is experiencing a momentous occasion.

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