The full impact of Microsoft’s huge layoff of around 1,900 Xbox, Activision and Bethesda staff is seemingly still coming to light, with more and more news around specific teams and studios affected rolling through.
The latest, which comes from the San Francisco Chronicle, reveals that 162 staff across two very recognisable studio names in Novato and Foster City in California have been victim of the layoffs, and the two offices housing them are reportedly also being closed. State filings show layoffs of 86 staff and an office closure at an address matching that of Toys For Bob, who are responsible for the Skylanders games as well as Crash Bandicoot 4 and the Spyro Reignited Trilogy, and another address with 76 staff being let go matches that of Call of Duty developer Sledgehammer Games – which Insider Gaming has previously claimed would be losing its office.
It’s worth stressing that these are office closures and not studio shutterings, and could simply mean that both teams are relocating or going fully remote at the same time as their head counts being downsized. Toys For Bob had 180 staff as of a count in 2021, and at least 450 were employed at Sledgehammer at the same time with multiple office locations across the globe.
Update: As the situation unfolds, it’s been further reiterated that Toys for Bob itself is not closing down, but the physical office where it operated in California is closing alongside the loss of 86 staff, while the majority of remaining staff continue to work remotely. We’ll continue to update with more as it comes.
“It’s been a little over three months since the Activision, Blizzard, and King teams joined Microsoft. As we move forward in 2024, the leadership of Microsoft Gaming and Activision Blizzard is committed to aligning on a strategy and an execution plan with a sustainable cost structure that will support the whole of our growing business. Together, we’ve set priorities, identified areas of overlap, and ensured that we’re all aligned on the best opportunities for growth.
“As part of this process, we have made the painful decision to reduce the size of our gaming workforce by approximately 1,900 roles out of the 22,000 people on our team. The Gaming Leadership Team and I are committed to navigating this process as thoughtfully as possible. The people who are directly impacted by these reductions have all played an important part in the success of Activision Blizzard, ZeniMax and the Xbox teams, and they should be proud of everything they’ve accomplished here. We are grateful for all of the creativity, passion and dedication they have brought to our games, our players and our colleagues. We will provide our full support to those who are impacted during the transition, including severance benefits informed by local employment laws. Those whose roles will be impacted will be notified, and we ask that you please treat your departing colleagues with the respect and compassion that is consistent with our values.
“Looking ahead, we’ll continue to invest in areas that will grow our business and support our strategy of bringing more games to more players around the world. Although this is a difficult moment for our team, I’m as confident as ever in your ability to create and nurture the games, stories and worlds that bring players together.