Employment Law

Microsoft Layoffs: 1,900 Activision Blizzard and Xbox jobs being axed

A photo of a person interacting with a computer. (Photo: ELLA DON / Unsplash)

Microsoft is laying off approximately nine per cent of its gaming division — affecting 1,900 Activision Blizzard, Xbox, and ZeniMax employees.

The reduction comes just months after the tech giant completed its multibillion-dollar acquisition of Activision Blizzard.

What’s happening at Microsoft?

Matt Booty, Microsoft’s game content and studios president, told staff in an internal memo that the job cuts will “best enable Blizzard and Xbox to deliver ambitious games for our players on more platforms and in more places than ever before.”

“Today’s actions affect multiple teams within Blizzard, including development teams, shared service organizations and corporate functions,” Booty said in the memo obtained by The Verge.

“As part of this focus, Blizzard is ending development on its survival game project and will be shifting some of the people working on it to one of several promising new projects Blizzard has in the early stages of development.”

Booty also noted that Blizzard president Mike Ybarra has decided to leave the company. He said a new president “will be announced next week.”

Microsoft Gaming reportedly employs a total workforce of approximately 22,000 people.

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Microsoft layoffs in Canada

It remains unclear if any Canadian employees are affected by the latest reduction at Microsoft.

According to the company’s LinkedIn page, it has more than 5,600 workers in the country.

Termination agreements for Microsoft Canada employees

In Canada, non-unionized employees at Microsoft are owed full severance pay when they lose their jobs due to downsizing, corporate restructuring, or the closure of the business.

This includes individuals working full-time, part-time, or hourly in Ontario, Alberta, and B.C.

People working “on contract” or as a contractor may also be owed severance pay — given that many employees in Canada are often misclassified as independent contractors.

Severance can be as much as 24 months’ pay, depending on a number of factors.

WATCH: Employment lawyer Lior Samfiru explains what rights employees have if they are being fired or let go on an episode of the Employment Law Show.

Before you accept any severance offer, double-check the amount using our firm’s free Severance Pay Calculator. It has helped millions of Canadians determine their entitlements.

In addition to your salary, make sure to factor in any other elements of your compensation (i.e. bonuses, commission, etc.).

If your employer’s offer falls short of what the Severance Pay Calculator says you are owed, it’s very likely that you have been wrongfully dismissed and should contact an experienced employment lawyer at Samfiru Tumarkin LLP.

Non-unionized employees in Canada have up to two years from the date of their dismissal to pursue proper severance pay.

Severance for provincially regulated employees
Rights to severance for tech sector staff
• Severance packages during mass layoffs

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Major tech layoffs continue

The job cuts at Microsoft come amid a flurry of tech sector layoffs in 2024.

Big names, including eBay, Brex, Wayfair, Amazon, YouTube, Google, Instagram, Discord, Twitch, Unity, and Xerox, are significantly scaling back their staffing levels as they continue to navigate challenging economic conditions.

• Firm launches $130M class action against Shopify for breach of contract
Cloudflare, Discord workers post layoffs online: Employee rights
Where are layoffs happening in Canada?

Lost your job? Talk to an employment lawyer

If you have been fired or let go for any reason, contact the experienced employment law team at Samfiru Tumarkin LLP.

Our lawyers in Ontario, Alberta, and B.C. have successfully represented tens of thousands of non-unionized individuals.

In addition to severance package negotiations, we can assist you on a broad range of employment matters, including:

If you are a non-unionized employee who needs help with a workplace issue, contact us or call 1-855-821-5900 to get the advice you need and the compensation you deserve.

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