Microsoft cuts jobs following Phil Spencer's promotion to Head of Xbox

Developer axes an unspecified number of positions; "There are times when decisions need to be made to realign plans to refocus our efforts."

Just days after Microsoft promoted games veteran Phil Spencer to the new position of Head of Xbox, the company has cut an unspecified number of positions. Microsoft confirmed the move in a statement, but didn't say why the job cuts were necessary or what departments were hit.

"At Xbox, our goal is to constantly create new fun, social, and interactive entertainment experiences. As part of our commitment to this goal, we are always evaluating our development priorities, and there are times when decisions need to be made to realign plans and refocus our efforts," a Microsoft representative told VG247.

"Microsoft Studios continues to grow as an overall organization as we focus and invest in key priority areas that will drive future profitable growth."

Reports of the Microsoft Studios job cuts began to surface today via tweets from affected employees.

Speaking with GameSpot at GDC, Spencer said news about downsizing is more a reflection of the size and scope of AAA games today rather than an indicator of the vibrancy of the market. As part of the normal development cycle for big-budget games, studios staff up and then shed employees when they are not needed. This not not atypical, he said.

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and you can follow him on Twitter @EddieMakuch
Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

Written By

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and would like to see the Whalers return to Hartford.

Discussion

107 comments
teapartycitizen
teapartycitizen

With less employees on the payroll, Xbox becomes more attractive as a company to purchase. Especially if you already employ a similar staff of your own. Mark my words, Microsoft is doing this to sell Xbox to Sony.

Incubus420
Incubus420

Typical Microsoft copying Sony... Sony lays off a few people and Microsoft follows by laying off a few of their own. LOL this is just business and it happens with companies that we not seeing expected growth. Sony as a whole isn't doing so well and Microsoft is shifting their strategy so this all makes sense.  

daikkenaurora12
daikkenaurora12

Lame.  Give him more money while others lose their jobs.  Shitty business practice.

stuff238
stuff238

LOL at xboner fanboys. They were bashing Sony for firing people and now M$ fired a bunch of people. Looks like microsoft is doomed right? They are selling horribly compared to the PS4 and they are in 3rd place. They can't even outsell the horrible wii U! LMAO.

tom2750
tom2750

oh but its different when it happens to Microsoft Xbot logic

DarkJedi8_basic
DarkJedi8_basic

"there are times when decisions need to be made to realign plans and refocus our efforts."


OH, Snap!  he just let go the entire Kinect Division!!!

iMpLuX
iMpLuX

Whoever was on Phil Spencer's shit list just got canned

GrendelSP
GrendelSP

When was the last time you heard of a corporation other than McDonalds doing a huge hiring campaign? The truth of it is that under our current financial system there are always reasons to remove jobs to create more profit for the shareholders. None of these companies care about the workers. Everyone is expendable if the board makes another dollar. And the jobs won't be coming back. Welcome to the world that knows goodbye.

krystyla
krystyla

Ok is this something new? New boss people get laid off nothing unusual 

Shango4
Shango4

Every company lay off their employees,but why is it so serious when Microsoft and Sony do it?

xtimmy1
xtimmy1

You guys are sick. These are people who lost there jobs, they might not be able to support there family's. I hope everyone making fun loses there job and goes homeless.

galactic88
galactic88

Nothing puts more fear into your employees than a new boss and mass layoffs thank god I got out of corporate America. Yah!

Jdzspace
Jdzspace

this could be a really positive thing for the console. maybe they cut all the jobs that have to do with developing TV shows and crap that has nothing on earth to do with gaming. 


that would be a good start. 


now he just has to accounce a $450 console with a free game and NO kinect, and sales will REALLY start to pick up. I bet if it didn't have so much computing power mandatorily going to the kinect, they wouldn't have a problem hitting 1080/60 


maybe this is a sign of turning things around

BabeNewelll
BabeNewelll

What does the Xbox One & Lindsey Lohan have in common ?

deadpen
deadpen

@teapartycitizen  Sony couldn't afford it, not to say they are not trying to, but nintendo can. All I know is sony and microsoft keep loosing/firing/laying off employees while nintendo hasn't lost any despite the wii u's short comings.

knox140
knox140

@stuff238  Jesus Christ fanboys like you are absolutely pathetic.


"they can't even outsell the WiiU lolololol"


Yeah, well done... that's because the WiiU has been out for over a year already... did you know that the PS4 can't even outsell the PS1? That console is 3 generations old and it's outselling the PS4!! The PS4 is obviously shit. <<< your logic.


The fact you are saying "Xbone sucks" just proves to me that you don't know what you're talking about. It doesn't suck. It's a great console, with a great software lineup. The PS4 happens to be marginally better in terms of hardware (not price anymore, considering the recent bundles MS are putting out- and considering you get the Kinect with that it's probably now BETTER value than the PS4), but that doesn't mean the Xbox One is bad. learn2logic. 


And before you criticise me of being an "Xbox fanboy", I bought a PS4 day one and don't own an XB1. Morons like you are why everyone else's perception of gamers is so bad. Every single argument you can use to say why the XB1 "sucks" I could use to show you why the PS4 sucks compared to PCs. People like you are just embarrassing to those of us who don't value brands and sales figures over actual quality.

blackace
blackace

@stuff238 The difference here however, is we know Microsoft isn't cutting people to save money or make a profit, because they already are. They probably got rids of the DRM software developers. lol!! That's a good cut. The XB1 will easily catch and pass the Wii U once they launche their system in the other 30 counties around the world in Sept. You idiots keep forgetting that the XB1 is only in 13 counties in the world. Then you bitch about its sales. lol!! Sony had to sell another HQ building, their PC/Laptop division and seperate their HDTV division from their company. They laid off over 8000 employees. There's a huge difference between what Sony has done in the last 6 months and what M$ has done within their companies.

blackace
blackace

@tom2750 Yes 50 employee at M$ vs- over 8000+ employees at Sony, plus sold HQ building, Laptop/Pc division, etc... lol!! Yeah, I'd say there is a DIFFERENCE.

stuff238
stuff238

@iMpLuX  THIS! It is so obvious. Phil spencer gets named the head honcho at xbox and a day later a bunch of people get fired. LOL.

blackace
blackace

@Shango4 Because if can effect the game console product and the games to be released on them.

krystyla
krystyla

@Shango4 because its fuel for the console war and results in clicks and more clicks equals more income through ads.


I swear someday adblock will kill the internet

stuff238
stuff238

@xtimmy1  LOL. I love hypocrite posts like this. You are just as bad as the people laughing at them. Thanks for the laugh though. :)

walmonger
walmonger

@xtimmy1  Do you have a job? Is it an English teacher? Didn't think so. There and Their are completely different. You really need to work out which should be used where. 

Vinnvn
Vinnvn

@xtimmy1  

Nobody making fun of people losing there jobs as far as I know...

khuzko
khuzko

@xtimmy1  did you just type that with a straight face 

Vinnvn
Vinnvn

@Jdzspace  

Phil Spencer was working with a team developing TV shows and crap and he got promotion.

bunchanumbers
bunchanumbers

@BabeNewelll They're the redheaded stepchild of their respective industries. X1 for gaming and Lindsay for acting. Either that or both of them slept with Charlie Sheen.

Vinnvn
Vinnvn

@BabeNewelll  

Jail?

Wait I giveup...

jim_peterson
jim_peterson

@blackace @stuff238  "The difference here however, is we know Microsoft isn't cutting people to save money or make a profit, because they already are."


Yeah, dont think you know how business works. Business needs growth. MS's game devision might be making profit, but its shrinking, not growing. 


"Sony had to sell another HQ building, their PC/Laptop division and seperate their HDTV division from their company. They laid off over 8000 employees."


You mean Sony was losing money and they are restructuring and changing to rectify that? Wow, unheard of. And I like how you  conveniently forget that Sony has also made a lot of acquisitions, such as its new semi-conductor plant, and invested heavily in new tech recently and is seeing massive growth in formerly failing divisions like its phones.

stuff238
stuff238

@blackace @stuff238  Don't care about what either company does. The fact is Sony has sold over 7 million PS4's while xbone sits at a pathetic 4 million sold. Those are facts and that is all that matters at the end of the day. Xbone sucks.

jim_peterson
jim_peterson

And there we have Xbot logic in demonstration, thanks blackface. You realise that those 8000 employees had nothing to do with Playstation right and the majority simply went with Vaio when it was sold? 

Jdzspace
Jdzspace

@Vinnvn @Jdzspace  - yeah, but he also said he was going to refocu the brand more towards gaming. so it's not unreasonable to think they are focusing more on games and leess on tv shows

stuff238
stuff238

@blackace @stuff238  Google console sales. Go on other websites about gaming. Although neither Sony or MS have updated recent sales, other companies have been keeping track. Sony recently have 7 million confirmed to be sold to actual people.....which is believable because they have sold 1.5 million per month since launch. MS last updated months ago they SHIPPED 3.9 million consoles. But with Titanfail coming our recently and giving them a nice boost, they obviously hit the 4 million mark.


People keep track of console sales from all over the world. It is obvious that 7 million PS4's are in homes versus the 4 million xbones in homes while nintendo has 6 million in homes.

blackace
blackace

@stuff238 @blackace I haven't heard anything about Sony selling 7 millionyet  Last thing they said was 6 million. No one knows how many XB1 have sold to date, so stop pulling numbers out of your ass. Those are your delusional opinions. NOT FACTS. XBox is an awesome system. Don't be jelly cause you don't own one. I also love the way you ignored my FACTS about SONY. Typical biased troll. lol!! Can't debate it because they have nothing to come back with. 

stuff238
stuff238

@Shango4 @krystyla  The ads are getting more clever though. Some of them are still getting through haha. I have adblock too because IGN won't even load up for me without it. It is insane.

khuzko
khuzko

@Vinnvn @khuzko @BabeNewelll  i agree about 69% - lol !