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Microsoft lays off 1,900 employees


Tech giant Microsoft is laying off 1,900 employees — or around nine percent of the company’s headcount — in its gaming unit.

According to Microsoft Gaming chief executive officer Phil Spencer, letting go of employees was part of a larger execution plan to reduce areas of overlap just three months after its acquisition of Activision Blizzard.

Former Blizzard president Mike Ybarra, meanwhile, left Microsoft and Blizzard, too.

“It is an incredibly hard day and my energy and support will be focused on all those amazing individuals impacted. This is in no way a reflection on your amazing work. If there’s anything I can help with, connections, recommendations, etc., just DM (direct message) me,” Ybarra said in a social media post.

“To the Blizzard community: I also want to let you all know today is my last day at Blizzard. Leading Blizzard through an incredible time and being part of the team, shaping it for the future ahead, was an absolute honor,” he continued.

“Having already spent 20 plus years at Microsoft and with the acquisition of Activision Blizzard behind us, it’s time for me to (once again) become Blizzard’s biggest fan from the outside.”

The layoff left many in the gaming community heartbroken, especially after it was reported that a  promising survival game in development in Blizzard had been scrapped.

But it was not just Microsoft that made cuts as Riot Games, Twitch, Google, Discord and Ebay, among others, had to let go of employees in the same month.

“To the incredible teams at Blizzard, thank you. Words can’t express how I feel about all of you. You are amazing. Continue to do incredible things and always keep Blizzard blue and the player at the forefront of every decision,” Ybarra said.

“To all of those impacted today, I am always available to you and (I) understand how challenging today’s news is. My heart is with each one of you.”

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