Microsoft lays off 10,000 workers affected by Xbox and Bethesda studios

Let’s say it right away: yes, seeing Microsoft lay off Bethesda’s employees, at a time when the group has to put all its chances in front of the competition authorities that are currently blocking the acquisition of Activision Blizzard, is clearly impossible. But such a heavy announcement cannot always wait, and since Microsoft will present its next financial results on January 24, the bad news should have been announced to the public and shareholders without further delay. And to the workers.

343 “hard hitting” industries

It was CEO Satya Nadella who took over the keyboard and responsibility, issuing a press release confirming that 4.5% of Microsoft’s workforce, or 10,000 of its 221,000 employees, would be cut. irresponsibility?) Hiring in the years of Covid-19: Microsoft had “only” 144,000 employees before the pandemic. Faced with less spendthrift consumers on one hand and the specter of a possible recession on the other, a press release from Satya Nadella (who received $54.95 million in total compensation last year) is prompting a desire to invest in certain areas to focus efforts. tomorrow’s strategic values, especially artificial intelligence, which seems to be Microsoft’s new hobby, but does not give any indication to departments about layoffs.

Therefore, through social networks or a journalist Jason Schreier This thing from Bloomberg was quickly confirmed: video gaming is indeed one of the industries affected by workforce reductions. More specifically, it’s already known that quite a few people at 343 Industries have just lost their jobs, specifically the team behind the Halo Infinite single-player campaign. Creative director Joseph Staten, who was brought in as reinforcements in 2020 to take over the development of the campaign, and then the game as a whole, apparently did not receive a letter of resignation, but has also left 343 Industries to continue in his previous role. Xbox Game Studios Publishing Division.

“Leadership Incompetence”

The fate destined for 343 Industries obviously doesn’t leave you indifferent on social media, and in particular it forced Patrick Wren to step down. This former multiplayer designer on Halo 5: Guardians and now working for Respawn Entertainment on Halo Infinite had some strong words for his former bosses:

The layoffs shouldn’t have happened in 343 and Halo Infinite should be in better shape. Both of these incidents are due to incompetent leadership during the development of Halo Infinite, causing a lot of stress for those who are working so hard to make the best Halo possible. The people I worked with every day were passionate about Halo and wanted to do something good for the fans. They helped push for a better Halo and got fired for it. The developers still out there are working hard to make this dream a reality. See Forge. Be kind to them during this difficult time. I want to mention how great the multiplayer management team was during development.

Strong public comments from a Halo developer that mirror what I’ve heard from many other developers. (Other issues, as we reported, were tools and a heavy reliance on contractors who had to be fired after 18 months)“, replies Jason Schreier, who wrote an article about the circumstances of Halo Infinite’s development. Meanwhile, as always, when layoffs are announced, recruiters move quickly, especially The ones from Bungie.

More surprising than the usual 343 Industries current berezin, Bethesda Game Studios is one of the teams affected, being the group responsible for wrapping up production on one of the game’s most important releases, Starfield. Year for Microsoft. . Among the employees who confirmed his fate on Twitter Sam Luangkhot, we can include The Elder Scrolls Online community manager, namely ZeniMax Online Studios. Additionally, according to Kotaku, the workforce at The Coalition, also known as the studio behind the Gears of War franchise, has also lost some hair.

Those 10,000 job cuts will cost Microsoft $1.2 billion, including above-average severance pay and six months of health insurance. The loss will be recorded in the company’s third fiscal quarter (January-March 2023) results, which could hit $20.5 billion in quarterly net profit during the pandemic. Yes, quarterly. In addition to Microsoft, which already laid off 1,000 workers last October, Amazon, Unity, NetEase Games, and Wizards of the Coast have also laid off workers since the beginning of the year, not forgetting Meta last fall.

  • Also read | Wizards of the Coast is already downplaying its video game ambitions

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