The development team behind Blizzard’s now-cancelled survival game, reportedly called Odyssey, is seemingly among the teams dramatically impacted by the layoffs at Microsoft today.
According to multiple former team members posting on Twitter, the team is among the 1,900 employees impacted by the mass layoffs at Microsoft’s gaming division, which comes after the company’s $69 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard and the departure of CEO Bobby Kotick last year. Mike Ybarra, who announced his decision to leave his position as President of Blizzard Entertainment, previously said that Odyssey’s development team doubled in 2022, with plans to grow further. Now, the game is not only cancelled, but seemingly a significant portion of the team that had been working on it for six years has been let go. IGN has reached out to Xbox for clarification on how much of the team was impacted.
Several developers from the project took to Twitter/X to express their grief over the loss of their jobs and ask anyone for any leads on the positions they worked in prior to the layoffs.
Activision Blizzard and Xbox are the latest companies to be hit by mass layoffs in the games industry, adding up to over 4,000 layoffs in the first month of 2024 alone, and up to 10,000 layoffs last year. Three days ago, Riot Games laid off 530 people, or 11% of its global workforce. Two weeks earlier, Twitch cut 500 employees, with CEO Dan Clancy later admitting that the company is not profitable, despite paying streamers over $1 billion last year.
Cristina Alexander is a freelance writer for IGN. To paraphrase Calvin Harris, she wears her love for Sonic the Hedgehog on her sleeve like a big deal. Follow her on Twitter @SonicPrincess15.
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Author: Cristina Alexander