Xbox Exodus: 1,900 Jobs Cut, “Odyssey” Sinks in Microsoft Merger Maelstrom

According to wccftech, Microsoft recently announced the layoff of 1,900 employees from the Xbox and Activision Blizzard teams, approximately 10% of the total workforce in its gaming division. The Activision Blizzard team was particularly hard-hit by these layoffs, leading to the resignation of its president, Mike Ybarra, and the cancellation of their upcoming survival game, “Odyssey.”

Jez Corden of Windows Central reports that the layoffs have severely impacted two departments within the gaming business: the department responsible for the physical distribution and sales of Xbox games and the customer service department of Activision Blizzard. He describes these departments as essentially shut down, with the remaining tasks outsourced to foreign companies. This move, combined with the previous leak of a digital-only Xbox gaming console, suggests Microsoft’s future direction may lean towards exclusively digital game releases. Additionally, community managers were a primary target of the layoffs, indicating a potential reduction in investment toward Xbox game community building in the future.

Wccftech notes that Jez Corden has a high credibility rating regarding leaks about Microsoft and Xbox. Corden also points out that while there are many reasons to suspect Microsoft wants to discontinue physical game releases, the disbanding of the Xbox physical publishing team does not necessarily mean the immediate cessation of Xbox physical games, as this function can be outsourced. Current information reveals that recent Xbox games, such as “Hi-Fi Rush” and the upcoming “Senua’s Saga: Hellblade II,” will not have physical releases. Last year’s Xbox leak also revealed that they are developing a digital-only version of the Xbox Series X.