A reader is so upset by the Xbox layoffs he vows never to touch an Xbox console again, as he rails against Phil Spencer and other execs.
I read with interest a recent Reader’s Feature about how the media is biased against Xbox. It’s not something I’ve ever really felt but I admired the fact that Metro ran the article and it was informative to see how Xbox fans feel they are being treated unfairly. The reader gave some good examples of Xbox getting bad press but I still felt the argument was flawed, as recently Microsoft has been doing a lot of questionable things. And then Thursday happened.
In case you missed it, Microsoft laid off 1,900 people across Xbox Gaming, Bethesda, and Activision Blizzard. Whole departments have been gutted, Call Of Duty developers have been badly affected, and one new game at Blizzard completely cancelled – after six years of work.
The reason for this? Nobody really knows. Microsoft has said nothing official about it and the leaked memos are full of weasel words and vague explanations. It just seems to be that they’ve spent $69 billion on Activision Blizzard and so they want to prove to investors that they’ve not gone soft and can still cut costs, by just suddenly getting rid of almost 10% of all their workforce.
It’s disgusting, really. Especially knowing that the majority of these jobs are in the US, where the protections for workers are pitifully insubstantial and many will be struggling to find a job during a cost of living crisis, and, with so many other publishers also cutting staff, you have all these thousands of people all competing for the same few jobs.
Another interesting article recently was the interview with an indie publisher discussing the job losses last year, which underlined just how little publishers care about their staff. Do they think video games are successful because of anything their overpaid execs do or is it because people enjoy the amazing games that the developers, who are being discarded like yesterday’s half-eaten dinner, make for us?
Apparently Xbox boss Phil Spencer makes $10 million a year. For what? What has he or his team achieved in the decade or so he’s been running the show? Not only is Xbox still a distant third to Sony and Nintendo but Xbox Series X/S actually seems to be selling worse than the already disastrous Xbox One.
He’s overseen no significant new franchises and none of the games in his time in charge have become acknowledged classics or killer apps. He’s done nothing but talk for a decade and now he’s responsible for the biggest layoff gaming has ever seen. And for absolutely no stated reason.
I’m done with Xbox now. I own an Xbox Series S but I’ll give it to my nephew or something, because I want nothing to do with it. It was bad enough when they went around buying up all these companies, trying to outspend Sony so they couldn’t compete – which they admitted was their plan in court.
Then there was all the lying about whether Bethesda games would be exclusive, the ridiculous 150 million player claim about getting more people playing Call Of Duty, and that horrifically arrogant email about wanting to buy Nintendo.
Would they have bought Nintendo and then laid off 30% of their staff, from a company where some people have been there for 40 years or more? Of course they would. It’s just business. There’s no thought or humanity going into any of these decisions, they’re just following a corporate playbook and they don’t care about the consequences – only their yearly bonuses.
Phil Spencer might pretend he’s a gamer but he’s a businessman and one that clearly has no conscience or morals. I won’t support him or anyone else at Xbox and I’m glad they’re doing badly and that both Sony and Nintendo have beaten them, again. May all their staff – those who have already been made redundant and those now living in fear – find new jobs at better companies.
By reader Taylor Moon
The reader’s features do not necessarily represent the views of GameCentral or Metro.
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