With Microsoft laying off 1,900 employees, multiple Call of Duty studios suffered cuts, including Treyarch, Raven Software, Sledgehammer Games, and High Moon Studios.
On Jan. 25, Microsoft reportedly let go roughly eight or nine percent of the 22,000-person company. Only four months prior, Microsoft acquired Activision Blizzard for $70 billion, and Xbox boss Phil Spencer said the deal would build “a “culture that strives to empower everyone to do their best work.”
Spencer had a different tune today as he expressed condolences for this “painful decision,” and the CoD community felt the brunt end of that choice.
Microsoft layoffs extend across multiple CoD studios
Sledgehammer Games is the lead studio behind Modern Warfare 3, and the studio is still actively working on the game as part of the live content schedule. However, the Sledgehammer Games multiplayer senior QA lead claimed on social media he had “lost basically my entire team.”
Meanwhile, Raven Software is at the helm for Warzone, as the battle royale just had a massive mid-season update and is constantly rebalancing and hot-fixing the game daily. The studio suffered losses as well. “Well unfortunately I’ve been laid off,” the former Raven Software associate community manager said. “I hope the COD community understands that I prioritized your voices every single chance that I got.”
COD 2024 is rumored to be a Treyarch-developed Black Ops series entry for the first time since 2020. The game will reportedly be set in the Gulf War, “with a strong focus on the CIA,” according to Insider Gaming, featuring classic weapons, equipment items, and the return of round-based Zombies, and iconic Black Ops maps. Despite being in the middle of development, Treyarch also had cuts.
“Unfortunately, today is my last day at Treyarch,” former games and system designer Tyler Diaz said. “I can’t begin to express how grateful I am for the last 2 years working on this incredible game.”
COD insider CharlieIntel confirmed that there have been posts from almost every COD studio about layoffs. This all comes one day after Riot joined a growing list of other publishers to lay off employees entering 2024.