Tech giant Microsoft has laid off 1,900 employees across recently-acquired video game publisher Activision Blizzard and its gaming workforce.

The layoffs represent around 8.6% of the company’s total gaming workforce of 22,000 people.

An internal memo from Microsoft Gaming chief executive Phil Spencer obtained by news outlet The Verge, said Blizzard president Mike Ybarra and chief design officer Allen Adham have also decided to leave the company.

Additionally, Blizzard’s untitled new survival game was canceled, with its team shifted to other projects.

Spencer said: “As we move forward in 2024, the leadership of Microsoft Gaming and Activision Blizzard is committed to aligning on a strategy and an execution plan with a sustainable cost structure that will support the whole of our growing business.

“Together, we’ve set priorities, identified areas of overlap, and ensured that we’re all aligned on the best opportunities for growth.”

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Microsoft acquired Activision Blizzard in late 2023 after many legal hurdles, after the UK’s competition watchdog cleared its $69 billion takeover.

The decision came two months after Microsoft submitted new proposals and alterations to the structure of its acquisition to win approval from the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), which moved to block the original agreement in April. This body had until October 18 to decide on the new deal.

The European Commission approved the original deal in mid-May, while in July a judge in California, US, found against the attempt to block the acquisition by the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

Microsoft announced its original intention to acquire Activision Blizzard in January 2022 in one of the biggest deals the video gaming industry has ever seen.

The agreement is the most expensive acquisition ever for Microsoft, dwarfing its $26-billion takeover of LinkedIn in 2016, seeing Microsoft paying $95 for each Activision Blizzard share.

Alongside Activision Blizzard, Microsoft also owns gaming giant Xbox.

The layoffs follow the news this week that fellow major gaming company Riot Games laid off 500 employees, 11% of its total workforce.