Xbox Boss Addresses Recent Layoffs in Internal Email

Phil Spencer says Microsoft "had to make decisions that we felt set us up for the long-term success of our products and business."

Posted By | On 22nd, Jan. 2023

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Microsoft recently confirmed that it will be laying off 10,000 employees, with a number of Xbox studios being impacted as well, including the likes of 343 Industries, Bethesda Game Studios, and The Coalition. Given the scale of the layoffs, it’s no surprise that Microsoft has been on the receiving end of a barrage of criticism and questions in recent days, and in a recent internal email sent to all Xbox employees, Xbox boss Phil Spencer has addressed the situation.

In the email, as shared by Kotaku, Spencer says Microsoft’s Gaming Leadership Team “had to make decisions” regarding layoffs that it felt would enable “long-term success”. Acknowledging the “individual results of those decisions” and accepting that they “hurt”, Spencer goes on to call on employees for their support in “this challenging time”.

You can find the email in its entirety below:

“This has been a difficult week across Microsoft, and here, inside our teams. Now that many of the 1:1 and team conversations have happened, I want to take a moment to reiterate the message that you heard from your leaders.

“This is a challenging moment in our business, and this week’s actions were painful choices. The Gaming Leadership Team had to make decisions that we felt set us up for the long-term success of our products and business, but the individual results of those decisions are real. I know that hurts. Thank you for supporting our colleagues as they process these changes.

“Over the coming weeks we will have many opportunities to connect and answer your questions, including the Monthly Gaming Update next week for teams who attend that meeting, and I am in close contact with teams at ZeniMax to provide support. The GLT and I are committed to being as transparent as we can. Moving forward with ambiguity is challenging, but I am confident that together, we will get through this difficult moment in time.

“Xbox has a long history of success thanks to the work you do in service of players, creators, and each other. Your work is so deeply appreciated and valued in these times of change and is integral to our business momentum. I am confident in our future and proud to be part of this team, but also conscious that this is a challenging time and I want to thank you for everything you do here.”

Recent rumours claimed that amidst layoffs and internal restructuring, 343 Industries had been taken off development of future Halo content, though the studio has since refuted those reports, stating that it will continue to develop single player and multiplayer Halo games in the future. The studio’s former senior multiplayer designer Patrick Wren recently criticized the studio for its layoffs, blaming “incompetent leadership up top.” Read more on that through here.


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