Xbox boss Phil Spencer has addressed the “painful” layoffs Microsoft announced last week, with 10,000 members of staff losing their jobs.
The gaming developers who were behind the latest round have been laid off. Halo at 343 Industries, Starfield Developers at Bethesda, and Xbox Studios veterans.
Spencer confessed to the staff via email Kotaku) that “this has been a difficult week across Microsoft.”
“This is a challenging moment in our business, and this week’s actions were painful choices,” he continued. “The Gaming Leadership Team had to make decisions that we felt set us up for the long-term success of our products and business, but the individual results of those decisions are real. It hurts. Thank you for supporting our colleagues as they process these changes.”
“The GLT and I are committed to being as transparent as we can,” he added. “Moving forward with ambiguity is challenging, but I am confident that together, we will get through this difficult moment in time.”
Spencer finished by saying: “Xbox has a long history of success thanks to the work you do in service of players, creators, and each other. Your contribution to business growth is vital and deeply valued during these times of change. I am confident in our future and proud to be part of this team, but also conscious that this is a challenging time and I want to thank you for everything you do here.”
Announcing the layoffs, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said that they represent “less than five per cent of our total employee base” and are a result of “severance costs, changes to our hardware portfolio, and the cost of lease consolidation as we create higher density across our workspaces”.
343 Industries responded to the news via Twitter. It slammed rumours that it would no longer be Halo’s main studio. Microsoft was also criticised over its decision to host a private Sting concert in the presence of top executives the day before the announcement of mass layoffs.
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