New sources reported that Microsoft has cut off the team responsible for bringing physical Xbox games to retail.
The gaming community was shocked when Microsoft announced that the company was laying off 1,900 workers from its Xbox and Activision Blizzard teams. Amongst the companies, Blizzard was hit the hardest, with president Mike Ybarra and Allen Adham, the co-founder and chief design officer, both leaving.
Microsoft’s head of gaming, Phil Spencer, confirmed that the company will provide full support to those who are impacted during the transition.
All of Microsoft’s gaming divisions were affected during the mass layoffs, including ZeniMax and Bethesda. However, it was later reported that the departments that were involved in bringing Xbox games to physical retail and Activision Blizzard customer service were also shut down.
Microsoft Stopping Physical Sales?
According to Windows Central’s Jez Corden, Microsoft has “shut down departments” responsible for releasing Xbox games and other physical products to retail. However, even if things within the company are changing, Corden stated that Microsoft and Xbox are not quitting retail.
According to Corden’s sources, Microsoft laid off the entire customer support teams for Activision Blizzard King and some community managers, aside from a select few.
Although Xbox’s physical release team is being shut down, Corden quickly pointed out that physical Xbox games will not be dropped immediately, and the work could still be outsourced.
Rumors say that Microsoft is working on an Xbox Series X|S refresh, and both consoles are expected to be digital-only. As a matter of fact, Senua’s Saga: Hellblade II, the upcoming AAA title developed by Ninja Theory and Xbox Game Studios, is expected to be released digitally only.