Over 18 000 jobs will be lost to Microsoft employees over the next year. $1.6 million will be issued in severance to the thousands of employees over the next 12 months, with a majority of the cuts coming from the closure of Xbox Entertainment Studios. Despite the loss of employees in many divisions, the Xbox Division will take the smallest hit. The company will now focus its efforts on its phones, Surface, and Xbox businesses according to vice president Stephen Elop.
This is terrible news for all involved. 18 000 is not a small number by any means. My thoughts go out to all impacted by this decision. Best of luck out there.
However, despite the layoffs, Microsoft has announced that the Halo television series and Quantum Break television companion series will not be affected. Quantum Break is on track, with both the TV series and the game releasing next year with more information being announced at Gamescom in Germany later this year. The Halo series has been confirmed to stay in production as well as a hand full of other projects that have started, with a Microsoft representative telling IGN that, "Nancy Tellem, Jordan Levin and some of the [Xbox Entertainment Studios] team will stay on and remain committed to original programming already in production."
It would be crazy of Microsoft to cancel the Halo TV series. Not only has the series an extremely important part of what the future of Halo holds, Microsoft has also gone out of its way to partner with Showtime and Steven Spielberg to get top notch production value. And taking away the TV aspect of Quantum Break would be taking away half of the appeal of the game, as well as important story elements that developer Remedy has planned out.
More reports are coming in about the job cuts at Microsoft. According to a report of MCV's UK branch, Microsoft will be gutting it's Xbox division in Europe. Of the current employees, 75% will be let go permanently, with the remaining 25% of the work force having to go through a re-apply process, which means that even if you have a job after the cuts, you still have to fight to keep it. Microsoft has reported that these cuts will not affect the launch of the Xbox One in the next 13 regions in September.
So it looks like the cuts are actually going to be in the Xbox division, despite what Microsoft said yesterday. Good luck to everyone at the Xbox European branch.
Here's a list of smaller, more self explanatory stories of the day:
- Episode 4 of the Walking Dead Season 2 will be out on July 22nd.
- The Evil Within will be out a week earlier than expected.
- Brand new Fatal Frame announced for Wii U in Japan.
- Xbox One August update detailed.