Microsoft continues shrinking ZeniMax and Xbox with voluntary severance deals


Sure, Microsoft shuttered a bunch of studios and added more layoffs to its pile earlier this week, but it can’t possibly get worse, right? Unfortunately, it can. As Bloomberg reported last night, Microsoft has plans to continue the bloodbath. In addition to the four closed studios and abandoned games, the company aims to push more people out out Xbox and ZeniMax with “voluntary” severance agreements.

Apparently, yesterday Xbox’s Matt Booty and ZeniMax’s Jill Braff suggested that the division had too many studios and too many projects to the point that Braff thought it was “about to topple over.” They also told workers at the townhall that Arkane Austin (Redfall) and Tango Gameworks (The Evil Within) were targeted for closure not because of recent failures (like Redfall) but because they were ramping up hiring and working on new, and presumably far-from-launch, projects, which of course is how games development works.

“Speaking about the closures more broadly, Booty said that the company’s studios had been spread too thin — like ‘peanut butter on bread’ — and that leaders across the division had felt understaffed. They decided to close these studios to free up resources elsewhere, he said.”

As we noted yesterday, Microsoft laid off over 10,000 people last year, plus these latest from ZeniMax, but don’t worry; it just bought Activision-Blizzard and promised $3.3B to build a new AI datacenter in Wisconsin.

And if that doesn’t get under your skin, here’s former Blizzard president Mike Ybarra telling us we should feel sorry for… Phil Spencer, the person responsible for all the layoffs and was himself not impacted by them at all.

Source: Bloomberg
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