Massive Layoffs Hit Crash Bandicoot and Call of Duty Studios After Microsoft’s Acquisitions

San Francisco, California – The video game industry has been hit hard by a wave of layoffs, with Crash Bandicoot developer Toys for Bob and Call of Duty studio Sledgehammer Games being the latest casualties. Reports indicate that Toys for Bob has lost around 40% of its staff, while Sledgehammer Games has seen a 30% reduction in its workforce.

These layoffs are a result of Microsoft’s decision to lay off a total of 1,900 employees across its video game teams. Xbox boss Phil Spencer addressed the painful decision in an email to employees, citing Microsoft’s recent acquisitions of Activision Blizzard and ZeniMax as contributing factors. Microsoft had also laid off nearly 900 positions around the same time last year.

According to industry insider Tom Henderson, around 40% of Toys for Bob’s workforce, which translates to approximately 35 staff members, have been affected by the layoffs. Meanwhile, Sledgehammer Games, listed on LinkedIn as employing between 500 and 1,000 staff, could see anywhere between 150 and 300 employees impacted by the job cuts.

This unfortunate trend of layoffs extends beyond these two studios. In the gaming industry alone, numerous other companies have recently announced layoffs. Riot Games, the developer behind League of Legends, Black Forest Games, Unity, Behaviour Interactive, and Lords of the Fallen publisher CI Games have all been forced to make staff reductions.

The GDC 2024 State of the Game Industry report, released earlier this month, revealed that 35% of game developers have experienced layoffs in the past year. Furthermore, half of those surveyed expressed concerns that more job cuts could be on the horizon.

The impact of these layoffs on the industry and the affected employees cannot be overstated. It is a challenging time for the video game industry, as major players grapple with the aftermath of these personnel reductions. The ripple effect of these layoffs is felt by individuals and families who now face uncertain futures in an industry they have dedicated their careers to. The long-term consequences on the gaming landscape remain to be seen, but it is clear that the industry is facing significant turbulence.