Crash Bandicoot developer Toys for Bob and Call of Duty studio Sledgehammer Games have reportedly lost around 40 per cent and 30 per cent of their staff, respectively.
The layoffs are part of Microsoft’s decision to lay off 1900 employees across its video game teams. In an email sent to employees, Xbox boss Phil Spencer called this a “painful decision after Microsoft’s $69bn acquisition of Activision Blizzard last year, and $7.5bn acquisition of Zenimax in 2021. Microsoft also laid off almost 900 positions this time last year, too.
According to Bloomberg’s Jason Schreier, Activision Blizzard staff have been contacting him directly to find out if they’ve been affected, while industry insider Tom Henderson says that 40 per cent of Toys for Bob’s workforce equates to around 35 staff (thanks, TheGamer).
Sledgehammer, on the other hand, is listed on LinkedIn as employing between 500-1000 staff, intimating that anywhere between 150 and 300 staff could be affected by the job cuts.
It’s been a horrific start to the year for the industry. As Victoria recently summarised for us, this month alone has seen multiple other companies announce layoffs, including League of Legends developer Riot Games, Black Forest Games, Unity, Behaviour Interactive, and Lords of the Fallen publisher CI Games.
Earlier this month GDC published its 2024 State of the Game Industry report, revealing that 35 percent of game developers had been impacted by layoffs in the last 12 months. Half of those surveyed admitted concerns that more job cuts were on the way, too.