Yesterday, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella announced that the company would cut up to 18,000 jobs — 12,500 in its Nokia division — as part of the company's restructuring plan. MCV's sources state that as much as 75 percent of the full-time positions available on the Xbox EMEA would be axed, with current employees having to reapply for the remaining open roles.
Additionally, MCV reports that the Xbox U.K. team has been reduced by 10 percent and all contract roles have been cut. A representative for Xbox told MCV that the redundancies will not affect the launch of the Xbox One in other European countries and Japan this fall.
"We eliminated a number of EMEA roles in the U.K. to gain efficiencies," said the Microsoft spokesperson. "We remain very committed to the market and will continue to support our local development teams. We believe that the U.K. has exceptional games industry talent and we'll continue to focus on game creation in the through Microsoft Studios like Rare, Lionhead Studios, Lift London and Soho Productions. Also, Europe continues to be an important market for Xbox, and we're excited to launch Xbox One to fans in 13 mainland European markets in September."
Nadella noted in his announcement yesterday that the job cuts are designed to "simplify the way we work to drive greater accountability" and make the company more agile. The restructure will also create new jobs and eliminate some managerial hierarchy to promote more teamwork within the company.
Shortly after the layoffs notice, Microsoft revealed it would be shutting down Xbox Entertainment Studios, a branch of the company opened in early 2013 that would focus on producing original programming for the Xbox brand.