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Published: January 26, 2024

Written by: Stefan Velikov

  • Microsoft announced it’s releasing nearly 1 900 employees of Activision Blizzard
  • Sledgehammer, developers of several Call of Duty titles, have been severely hit
  • This is one of a string of layoffs that Microsoft has announced over the past year

Sledgehammer Games will be moving most of their work remotely as the company closes its main office after losing 30% of its staff.

Microsoft Announce Layoffs

If you’ve been keeping track of the recent trends in the world of big tech companies, you’ve likely noticed how many of them are releasing large numbers of employees. Microsoft has not been an exception to this, as for the past year, the corporation has laid off thousands of employees. This has continued into 2024, with Microsoft recently announcing it is parting ways with nearly 1,900 employees of Activision Blizzard.

Of course, this has had a noticeable effect on the games the company produces, as subsidiaries, such as Sledgehammer Games, responsible for the development of several Call of Duty titles, seem to be hit quite hard. The company lost nearly a third of its staff and will be closing its main office and moving to remote until a new one is found.

Notably, the decision, which was reached during a company town hall meeting, happened just days after rumors said Sledgehammer is developing Call of Duty 2027, so the layoffs will inevitably put a wrench in the works for that game. It is most likely that the studio will continue working remotely until at least the end of this year. The situation contrasts with Activision’s December 2023 call for QA workers to return to offices full-time, after many chose to stay in home offices following the end of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Of course, laying off 30% of the studio’s workforce has not gone down well with Sledgehammer’s employees. According to a report by Insider Gaming, many have called the decision a “slap in the face.”

Why Is This Happening?

Big tech companies letting go of large numbers of their employees has been a worrying trend over the past year. The main reason for this is the fact many of them over-hired during the Covid-19 pandemic. This is particularly the case with companies related to entertainment, as when many people were stuck inside their homes and didn’t have much to do, the consumption of various types of media skyrocketed.

However, as the world opened up more during the latter half of 2022 and throughout 2023, this practice suddenly became unsustainable, resulting in many companies having more staff than they needed. This is why names like YouTube, Twitch, and Audible decided to release some staff. Just a few days ago, Riot Games also announced huge layoffs, citing unsustainable projects as its main reason.

Ultimately, it’s not known when these quakes in the tech world will stop. However, one can be sure that games and other products will likely be negatively affected by such a major and sudden labor shift.

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