After the recent closure of Xbox Entertainment Studios in North America, layoffs continues to hit offices related to the Xbox brand (and Microsoft departments in general). This time, the whole Xbox development studio in Shenzhen, China, was affected, with around 80 employees laid off.
The Xbox department in Shenzhen apparently handles hardware development, along with 2 departments handling the Surface brand which suffered gradual layoffs this year as well. According to reports from Sina News and Fenghuang News, the Xbox layoff happened suddenly on 30th October.
2 American executives from Microsoft HQ held a meeting which lasted “30 minutes”, and immediately handled the work termination process to the Human Resource department. Some employees were still working overtime on that day, and were locked out from their offices the next morning.
All work in the China studio will be shifted back to North America. “Most” of the employees have yet to agree to the compensation package, which includes 3 months of pay and another 1 month if signed and agreed within a fixed period, as there are discrepancies in the monthly wages.
Sales of Xbox One in China has not picked up pace, despite launching first compared to Sony’s PlayStation 4 and having public presence in July’s ChinaJoy games convention. What plans does Microsoft’s new CEO, Satya Nadella, exactly have for Xbox for the long term? Let’s wait and find out.