Microsoft lays off 10,000 employees after Activision acquisition plan

Employees at Bethesda, 343 and Xbox Game Studios have all been affected

Microsoft is set to lay off 10,000 employees, threatening the company’s plan to acquire Activision Blizzard.

Last January, Microsoft announced its initial plan to purchase the gaming content publisher, although many obstacles have stopped the deal from being completed.

According to Reuters, the European Commission is set to object to the deal ahead of the April 11 deadline to decide on whether the acquisition can go through.


A Microsoft representative said: “We’re continuing to work with the European Commission to address any marketplace concerns. Our goal is to bring more games to more people, and this deal will further that goal.”

The latest round of layoffs includes the gaming developers behind Halo at 343 Industries and Starfield developers at Bethesda.

The layoffs reportedly also have affected 10-year veterans of Xbox Studios.

Warzone 2. Credit: Activision Blizzard.
Warzone 2. Credit: Activision Blizzard.

In today’s statement on the layoffs, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said: “US-benefit-eligible employees will receive a variety of benefits, including above-market severance pay, continuing healthcare coverage for six months, continued vesting of stock awards for six months, career transition services, and 60 days’ notice prior to termination, regardless of whether such notice is legally required. Benefits for employees outside the US will align with the employment laws in each country.”

Nadella added that the layoffs represent “less than five per cent of our total employee base” and are a result of “severance costs, changes to our hardware portfolio, and the cost of lease consolidation as we create higher density across our workspaces”.

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