Xbox Layoffs: More Job Cuts on the Horizon

Xbox Layoffs: More Job Cuts on the Horizon

What is happening with Xbox layoffs?

Even more layoffs across Xbox are on the horizon, an industry insider has said. The purported cutbacks would mark the third major round of Xbox layoffs since the turn of the year.

How many employees were laid off in January 2024?

Microsoft laid off approximately 1,900 Xbox staffers back in late January 2024. Those cutbacks affected not just its Xbox Game Studios division but also Activision Blizzard and ZeniMax Media, which continue to operate as standalone publishing arms. The company later cited concerns over a general lack of gaming industry growth as the reason for that decision. Come early May, Microsoft also closed four ZeniMax studios: Arkane Austin, Alpha Dog Games, Tango Gameworks, and Roundhouse Studios. The move saw its total number of 2024 layoffs reach approximately 2,100.

But the cost-cutting effort is still not over, with The Verge’s Tom Warren now reporting that even more Xbox layoffs are in the pipeline. This latest round of workforce reductions is said to be happening during the first week of July 2024. The cutbacks have ostensibly already started, with Twitter user @Jessabirdy reporting that her role at Xbox had been eliminated on Tuesday, July 2. This turn of events dovetails with an early May 2024 report from Bloomberg’s Jason Schreier, who characterized Microsoft’s decision to close the ZeniMax Media studios as part of “a widespread cost-cutting initiative that still isn’t finished.”

Is the timing related to the fiscal year?

The timing of these purported layoffs coincides with Microsoft’s fiscal year 2025, which started on Monday, July 1. That may not be a coincidence, as it’s not uncommon for the tech giant to synchronize its budget adjustments and related cutbacks with the fiscal year calendar. There is currently no indication that this latest round of cost-saving efforts will lead to any more studio closures at Xbox. But the exact scope of the purported July 2024 layoffs remains unclear.

Gaming is far from the only division of Microsoft that’s been hit with workforce downsizing efforts in recent times. Microsoft also reportedly eliminated over 1,000 other roles back in June 2024, with those layoffs being said to have affected its HoloLens and Azure cloud teams. The news of the Azure cutbacks came as a particular surprise to some industry watchers, not least because that team is part of the company’s most profitable division in terms of margins.

Severance Pay for Canadian Xbox Employees

In Canada, non-union Xbox employees who face job loss due to downsizing or corporate restructuring are entitled to full severance pay. These severance packages can vary, potentially offering up to 24 months of pay. In Ontario, mass layoffs involving 50 or more employees may entitle workers to enhanced severance packages. Employees who do not receive their full severance amount have the right to seek compensation.

At Whitten & Lublin, we understand the stress and challenges that come with job loss or termination. Our experienced employment lawyers are here to guide you through your legal options to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve. If you have been affected by recent layoffs in Canada, contact us for a consultation. Reach us through our online portal or by phone at (416) 640 2667 today.