Phil Spencer breaks silence on ‘hard decisions’ behind Xbox layoffs

Xbox boss Phil Spencer has finally spoken about the mass layoffs at the company earlier this year, which he ultimately dubbed “not decisions I love.”

Speaking to IGN at Summer Game Fest, Spencer said the focus was ensuring they are “doing the right thing for individuals on the team” as they go through “severance and other things”—adding it wasn’t about his PR or Xbox’s PR.

Hi-Fi Rush gameplay
Hi-Fi Rush was a critical success. Image via Tango Gameworks

The decisions made were “not decisions I love” but come as part of his responsibility of running “a sustainable business inside the company”—though this doesn’t address the confusion behind shuttering Tango Gameworks, as Hi-Fi Rush was a big success.

Microsoft’s gaming division shocked the industry with the decision to shut Redfall developers Arkane Austin and Hi-Fi Rush‘s Tango Gameworks, the latter of which came swiftly after releasing on other platforms with over 1,900 people losing their roles. The mass layoffs continue what has been a bleak year for the gaming industry, with a total of around 10,300 jobs lost so far in 2024—already wiping out the tally from the entirety of 2023 according to archive tracking tool Obsidian.

Microsoft has been behind a significant number of those layoffs, with Activision Blizzard among those being hit in January just months after the takeover was finally completed, before axing Arkane Austin and Tango Gameworks among others in May. Though Spencer had spoken previously following the layoffs at the start of the year, there has been radio silence from the Xbox chief for some time but he explained that was due to ongoing severance negotiations with affected employers.

The layoffs and decisions to bring Xbox-exclusive titles onto other platforms, including arch-rivals PlayStation, have led to concerns about the long-term future of Microsoft’s game division but Spencer vowed Xbox will “continue to go forward” and “continue to invest”.

Spencer’s interview with IGN came after Xbox’s showcase at Summer Game Fest, which provided updates on the likes of Call of Duty: Black Ops 6 and Fable, as well as the reveal of Gears of War: E-Day and Doom: The Dark Ages.

We will be happy to hear your thoughts

Leave a reply

Cheats Little Alchemy