Microsoft layoffs hit multiple Xbox Game Studios

By Sean Carey,

Multiple Xbox Game Studios, including 343 Industries, Bethesda, and The Coalition, have been hit with layoffs following Microsoft's announcement that it was cutting 10,000 jobs.

On Wednesday, Microsoft announced it was laying off 10,000 employees from its 220,000-person workforce "in response to macroeconomic conditions and changing customer priorities." At the time, it was unclear which divisions would be impacted and if any staff from Microsoft's gaming division would be let go. As it turns out, multiple Xbox Game Studios have been hit with layoffs, with 343 Industries seemingly being hit the hardest.

Around 60 staff from 343 Industries reportedly laid off

Microsoft layoffs hit Xbox studios 343 Industries, Bethesda, and more

As reported by Bloomberg and Kotaku, employees from 343 Industries, Bethesda, and The Coalition have all been laid off. The exact numbers aren't currently clear, but Bloomberg's Jason Schreier reports that 343 Industries has been "hit hard," with the Halo Infinite campaign team taking much of the brunt. Joseph Staten, who re-joined 343 in 2020 to help ship Halo Infinite, is one of the high-profile staff members leaving the studio, though he will reportedly be moving to Xbox Game Studios Publishing.

In an email seen by Bloomberg, 343 Industries studio head Pierre Hintze reportedly said the company had "made the difficult decision to restructure elements of our team, which means some roles are being eliminated." Hintze then went on to say that 343 would continue to support Halo Infinite's multiplayer and live service elements.

According to some reports, over 60 employees from 343 Industries have been laid off. Patrick Wren, a former senior multiplayer designer at 343 who is now working for Respawn, blamed the studio's leadership for the state of Halo Infinite and the redundancies, saying, "The layoffs at 343 shouldn't have happened, and Halo Infinite should be in a better state. The reason for both of those things is incompetent leadership up top during Halo Infinite development causing massive stress on those working hard to make Halo the best it can be.

"The people I worked every day with were passionate about Halo and wanted to make something great for the fans. They helped push for a better Halo and got laid off for it."

The dust hasn't quite settled, and it's currently unclear if more employees from Xbox and its studios will be let go in the coming days. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said layoffs would continue until the end of Q3 this financial year.

The layoffs come a year after Microsoft announced plans to buy Activision Blizzard for $69 billion. The deal has been met with opposition and scepticism from several major competition authorities around the world, including the US Federal Trade Commission, the UK Competition and Markets Authority, and European Union regulators. Recently, the European Game Developer Federation, which represents 23 national trade associations for game development studios based in 22 countries, announced its support of the proposed acquisition.
Sean Carey
Written by Sean Carey
Sean graduated from Southampton Solent University with a first-class honours degree in Journalism, which he uses to keep TrueAchievements and TrueTrophies topped up with gaming and industry news. When not scouring the web for the latest big story, you’ll find him tearing up the streets in Forza Horizon 5 or picking up wins in Call of Duty: Warzone 2.0.
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