Microsoft Cuts Include Game Divisions Behind Halo, Starfield
Microsoft Corp.’s announcement of mass layoffs extended to its video-game division, including the developers of hit titles such as Starfield and Halo.
Microsoft Corp.'s announcement of mass layoffs extended to its video-game division, including the developers of hit titles such as Starfield and Halo.
The Xbox-maker said Wednesday it's cutting 10,000 jobs as it seeks to reduce costs amid a broader economic slowdown. Some people at Bethesda Game Studios, maker of the upcoming Starfield, as well as 343 Industries, the company behind 2021's Halo Infinite, were affected, according to people familiar with the matter. Some of those who lost their jobs were veterans who had been with Xbox for more than a decade, said the people, who asked not to be named because they weren't authorized to speak publicly.
The scale of the cuts in the gaming division wasn't completely clear. Microsoft said it still plans to hire people in strategic, competitive areas, such as artificial intelligence, but many other departments were losing staff, including its HoloLens goggles business and some engineering divisions, Bloomberg reported.
In an email to staff, 343 Industries studio head Pierre Hintze said the company had “made the difficult decision to restructure elements of our team, which means some roles are being eliminated.” He wrote that the studio would continue supporting Halo Infinite's multiplayer and live service elements. Joe Staten, the creative director and Halo veteran who joined 343 in 2020 to help steer Halo Infinite to the finish line, will depart that outfit and rejoin Xbox's broader publishing division, Hintze said.
Microsoft purchased Bethesda's parent company, ZeniMax Media, for $7.5 billion in 2021 and has also cut jobs across some of ZeniMax's other divisions. A spokesperson declined to comment on the gaming layoffs, and referred to the company's blog post.
The news was announced one year after Microsoft unveiled plans to buy Activision Blizzard Inc. for $69 billion. The deal is pending regulatory approval and has been challenged by the US Federal Trade Commission.