Halo and Starfield devs reportedly affected by Microsoft's 10,000 layoffs

Xbox Games Studios
(Image credit: Microsoft)

Microsoft has confirmed plans to lay off 10,000 employees, and reports indicate that gaming divisions like Xbox and Bethesda will be affected.

In a statement to employees and investors (opens in new tab) today, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said the company is "making changes that will result in the reduction of our overall workforce by 10,000 jobs" through the end of March. Nadella says the layoffs represent "less than 5 percent of our total employee base". The company is taking a $1.2 billion charge this financial quarter as a result of "severance costs, changes to our hardware portfolio, and the cost of lease consolidation as we create higher density across our workspaces."

Some employees have already learned that they've been let go, like global creative director Ben Rudolph. Others, like Xbox content program manager Albert Dankwa and Xbox culture programs lead Jessie Thomas, are publicly showing concern for what's next.

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While the full extent of who's affected by the layoffs likely won't be known for some time, Bloomberg (opens in new tab) reports that the Halo devs at 343 Industries and the Starfield devs at Bethesda are among those affected. Some of those laid off reportedly include ten-year veterans of Xbox studios.

It's difficult not to look at Microsoft's pending $69 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard as these 10,000 layoffs loom. Activision Blizzard did, after all, employ 9,800 people as of its 2021 annual report (opens in new tab).

In today's statement on the layoffs, Nadella notes that "US-benefit-eligible employees will receive a variety of benefits, including above-market severance pay, continuing healthcare coverage for six months, continued vesting of stock awards for six months, career transition services, and 60 days’ notice prior to termination, regardless of whether such notice is legally required. Benefits for employees outside the US will align with the employment laws in each country."

A key European trade union has given a vote of support to Microsoft's Activision Blizzard acquisition.

Dustin Bailey
Staff Writer

Dustin Bailey joined the GamesRadar team as a Staff Writer in May 2022, and is currently based in Missouri. He's been covering games (with occasional dalliances in the worlds of anime and pro wrestling) since 2015, first as a freelancer, then as a news writer at PCGamesN for nearly five years. His love for games was sparked somewhere between Metal Gear Solid 2 and Knights of the Old Republic, and these days you can usually find him splitting his entertainment time between retro gaming, the latest big action-adventure title, or a long haul in American Truck Simulator.