On January 25, 2024, Microsoft announced plans to lay off 1,900 employees of Xbox, Activision Blizzard and ZeniMax Media. It is not officially reported which teams will fall under the cuts. However, some of the information was leaked online.
- According to Jez Corden, editor-in-chief of the Windows Central portal, many community managers and technical support specialists will lose their jobs. Microsoft will also close the departments responsible for the release of physical versions of Xbox games — their responsibilities can now be outsourced.
- Journalist Jason Schreier from Bloomberg writes that Microsoft has decided to cancel the survival codenamed Odyssey, the development of which started six years ago. She will fire some of the people who worked on it, and transfer some of them to other Blizzard projects in the early stages of development. In total, a team of more than 100 people worked on Odyssey.
- According to rumors, the layoffs will affect almost all studios that are working on Call of Duty. Among them are Infinity Ward, Raven Software, Treyarch, High Moon Studios, Solid State Studios and Sledgehammer Games. Sledgehammer Games allegedly fires 30% of the staff.
- The organization Communications Workers of America (CWA, the U.S. communications workers union) reported that its employees will not be affected by the wave of layoffs. The CWA includes testers from Raven Software, Blizzard Albany and ZeniMax Media's internal studios.
For reference: in 2022, Microsoft and CWA signed a labor neutrality agreement, which came into force after the purchase of Activision Blizzard. The corporation promised not to prevent employees from joining a union. She also agreed, in case of disagreement with the CWA, to start negotiations with the organization — if negotiations fail, the CWA will resort to expedited arbitration.