bethesda xbox layoffs

Microsoft Criticized for Bethesda, Xbox Layoffs Amidst Activision Blizzard Merger Attempt

Microsoft is being sharply criticized in the gaming circles after the company announced 10,000 job cuts, including Bethesda and Xbox layoffs, while fighting tooth and nail to acquire Activision Blizzard. The layoffs have reportedly impacted Halo and Starfield teams, with one former developer publicly blaming company leadership.

Xbox layoffs reportedly also hit Gears of War studio The Coalition

“The layoffs at 343 shouldn’t have happened and Halo Infinite should be in a better state,” former Halo multiplayer designer Patrick Wren tweeted. “The reason for both of those things is incompetent leadership up top during Halo Infinite development causing massive stress on those working hard to make Halo the best it can be.”

Others have questioned Microsoft’s ongoing attempts to acquire Activision Blizzard and pointed out the irony of the company announcing mass layoffs exactly a year after it announced its controversial acquisition.

The optics are certainly poor here. Microsoft’s video game development division continues to struggle and the company acknowledges as much in its arguments in favor of acquiring Activision Blizzard. Apparently, Microsoft needs Activision Blizzard to bolster its first-party line-up.

Speaking of the merger, Microsoft faces yet another challenge as the European Commission is reportedly preparing to formally object to the deal.