Another round of layoffs has been announced in the US technology space, this time by the PC giant Microsoft. Around 1,900 employees at Activision Blizzard and Xbox are reported to be laid off this week, the company said on Thursday.
The scale of these cuts is significant because they represent almost 8 per cent of the overall Gaming Division at Microsoft. The most severely impacted by the layoffs are likely to be Activision Blizzard. Blizzard President Mike Ybarra and Chief Design Officer Allen Adham have already announced a parting of ways with Microsoft.
The announcement comes just months after Activision Blizzard was acquired by Microsoft for $69 billion in a bid to improve its position in the video game market and present stronger competition to the market leader in the space Sony. Activision Blizzard had several best-selling games, including Call of Duty among its rosters.
Commenting on the lay-off, Communications Workers of America (CWA), a union representing workers in the tech and communications industry, released a statement saying, “Microsoft’s announcement that it will be laying off 1,900 video game workers makes clear that, even when you work at a successful company in an extremely profitable industry, your livelihood is not protected without a voice on the job.”
These layoffs were not done in a vacuum as layoffs across the tech space have become quite common in the last two years in the post-COVID era. Major firms like Alphabet (parent company of Google) and Amazon.com have also made significant mass lay-offs in this period. According to a tracking website Layoffs.fyi, over 21,000 employees have been laid off by 76 companies in the US this January itself.