The recent announcement of Microsoft’s plans for layoffs has come as a shock to many in the gaming industry. The company’s decision to cut approximately 10,000 jobs has not only affected its general workforce, but also the development teams behind some of the company’s most beloved projects, such as Halo and Starfield, as reported by Bloomberg’s Jason Schreier.
This news has also hit Xbox and Bethesda hard, with employee cuts being felt throughout both divisions. Schreier has spoken with individuals who have worked at 343 Industries and Bethesda Game Studios, and the picture that emerges is one of deep concern for the future of these projects and the teams behind them.
Many of the developers who have been affected by these layoffs are veterans who have been instrumental in the growth of Xbox for over a decade.
It remains unclear how Microsoft plans to maintain its competitiveness in key areas such as artificial intelligence, given the loss of such a significant portion of its workforce.
Schreier also points out the irony of Microsoft’s decision to lay off such a large number of employees while simultaneously investing nearly $70 billion in the acquisition of Activision Blizzard, a move that is currently being examined by international regulatory bodies.
In an email to the firm, Pierre Hintze, said the company “has made the difficult decision to restructure some elements of our team, which means that certain roles will be eliminated.”
The situation has hit 343 Industries particularly hard, with sixty layoffs in this team alone, almost all of the developers in the single player sector of Halo Infinite.
Joe Staten, creative director who joined 343 Industries in 2020 to help complete development of Halo Infinite, will leave the studio to rejoin Xbox’s publishing division.
Despite the difficult news, Microsoft assures that it will continue to support its customers and partners, and that the company is committed to investing in its future.
However, with such a large number of layoffs, it is hard to see how the company can maintain its competitive edge in the gaming industry, and the future of beloved projects such as Halo and Starfield is uncertain.