Riot Games and Microsoft lay off hundreds of employees

Riot Games and Microsoft lay off hundreds of employees

23. January 2023 by Andrew Williams

Currently, several companies in the games industry are laying off employees. While some companies are laying off less than a hundred employees, large companies are laying off several thousand. Among the companies are Riot, Microsoft, Unity and many more.

Riot fires 46 employees

Riot Games recently laid off 46 employees. The game developer laid off the employees due to “strategic shifts within some teams.” The game developer said in a statement:

Riot Games has made strategic shifts within some teams to sharpen our focus in some areas. With these shifts, certain roles have been eliminated, affecting a total of 46 Riot employees. This is part of our normal course of business: we periodically make changes to our structure and teams based on how we believe we can deliver the best content and experiences for players.

Riot continued, “We never make these decisions lightly and will always be driven by a desire to retain Riot employees and keep them focused on our highest priorities. While that’s not always possible, it’s our ultimate goal.”

Microsoft lets go of 10k people

Riot hasn’t made many layoffs of this nature in its history, but attributed the move to the current trend of companies looking to cut costs because of the advancing recession. Riot isn’t even the first gaming company to lay off employees this week – Microsoft has laid off 10,000 employees across multiple departments, including Xbox Game Studios developers such as Bethesda, 343 Industries and The Coalition.

Microsoft laid off 10,000 employees companywide on Jan. 18. Xbox has struggled to release first-party titles over the past year and is under tremendous pressure to produce eye-catching blockbuster games, such as Starfield. Some of the employees who lost their jobs have held high-profile positions, and this comes a year after the publisher scraped together the wherewithal to buy Activision Blizzard for $70 billion.

Former 343 Industries developer Tyler Owens accused Microsoft of “business practices and policies” that “doomed Halo” after it was revealed that 343 Industries was hit hard by the layoffs. Another former 343 developer, Patrick Wren, announced on Twitter that the layoffs were due to “incompetent leadership at the top during Halo Infinite development, causing massive stress on those working hard to make Halo the best it could be.” Game engine maker Unity also laid off 300 employees this week, setting off an industry-wide trend that won’t be slowed down anytime soon.