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Microsoft Reportedly Laying Off Physical Game Teams Amid Industry Shake-up Tech and Gaming News at Tool Battles

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Microsoft Reportedly Laying Off Physical Game Teams Amid Restructuring

TL;DR: Microsoft has reportedly laid off internal customer support teams for ABK games and shut down departments dedicated to bringing Xbox games to physical retail, sparking concerns about the future of physical game releases

Microsoft has reportedly laid off 1,900 employees from its gaming teams, with a significant impact on Activision Blizzard, a recent acquisition. The restructuring includes the cancellation of a new survival game from Blizzard, and key figures like Blizzard Entertainment president Mike Ybarra have departed.

Notably, Microsoft is said to have closed down departments dedicated to bringing Xbox games to physical retail, aligning with leaks suggesting the next Xbox console will be digital-only. While this shift may not immediately affect digital gamers, concerns arise about the potential long-term impact on digital game sales and pricing competition in the absence of a physical market.

Windows Central reporter Jez Corden, a reliable source on Xbox-related news, highlighted the industry trend toward a digital future but noted that Microsoft’s specific plans are yet unverified. The move has raised apprehensions among Xbox fans, anticipating potential changes to the availability of physical copies of Xbox games.

As of now, there has been no official comment from Xbox, Activision Blizzard, or other implicated parties. The layoffs also reportedly extend to internal customer support teams for ABK games, with Microsoft outsourcing the remaining support functions to external companies abroad. Additionally, community managers across the company have allegedly lost their jobs, suggesting a reduction in community building for Xbox games in Microsoft’s future plans.

While the reduction in retail teams doesn’t confirm Microsoft’s complete withdrawal from physical retail for Xbox games, industry observers note a broader trend toward digital distribution. The situation is ongoing, and updates may follow as more details emerge.

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