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More Xbox Cuts Layoffs Studio Closures Bethesda On The Way

More Job Cuts At Xbox Are Reportedly On The Way

by Wesley LeBlanc on May 09, 2024 at 08:45 AM

More cuts at Xbox are reportedly on the way, with some staff at ZeniMax getting offered voluntary severance agreements this week. This news comes from a Bloomberg report that says employees across the Xbox organization have been told to expect more cuts. 

These potential layoffs would follow Xbox's decision to shutter four Bethesda studios earlier this week, including Hi-Fi Rush team Tango Gameworks and Redfall developer Arkane Austin. As for the staff offered voluntary severance agreements, Bloomberg reports that producers, quality assurance testers, and other staff at ZeniMax are receiving them. 

The publication also reports the reason Tango Gameworks and Arkane Austin were shut down this week is that they were in the process of pitching new projects and hiring additional staff for said projects, something suggested by ZeniMax head Jill Braff and Xbox president Matt Booty during a town hall held this week. Xbox and ZeniMax chose to shut these studios down – both in the beginning processes of creating new games – instead of closing a studio deeper in development on projects. 

Elsewhere in Bloomberg's report, which details an internal town hall held at Xbox following the studio closures this week, Booty reportedly described its studios as spread too thin, like "peanut butter on bread," and that leaders across the company felt understaffed. Xbox closed three studios and had ZeniMax Online Studios absorb Roundhouse Games to free up resources. Braff said during the meeting, "It's hard to support nine studios all across the world with a lean central team with an ever-growing plate of things to do. I think we were about to topple over." 

These studio closures follow the January layoffs of 1,900 employees at Xbox, Activision Blizzard, and ZeniMax, which add to the total of more than 10,000 laid off in the games industry just this year. 

[Source: Bloomberg]

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