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Game over? How tech layoffs are reshaping gaming industry jobs

Published Feb 14th, 2024 10:44AM EST
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By Amanda Kavanagh

It feels like we’ve been ruminating over tech layoffs for a long time now, but the onslaught keeps on coming. According to redundancies tracker, over 24,000 employees have been laid off in 2024 so far, with high-profile announcements from Salesforce, SAP, eBay, Google, PayPal, Amazon, Wayfair, and Vroom accounting for a high proportion for these.

Microsoft’s shake up

Aside from SAP, which accounted for a whopping 8,000 of these layoffs, some of the largest losses have been at Microsoft, which made 1,900 redundancies in its 22,000 person gaming division, some 8.64% of its staff.

Activision Blizzard, ZeniMax and the Xbox Teams, which are all subsidiaries of Microsoft, will all feel the pinch.

The news comes alongside a number of changes following the acquisition of Activision Blizzard, which owns the rights to Call of Duty (a franchise worth around $31 billion alone), Crash Bandicoot, World of Warcraft and Candy Crush Saga, amongst others.

Alongside layoffs, Mike Ybarra, the Activision Blizzard president for the last two decades has left, and the production of its brand-new survival game Odyssey has been halted.

Much of this is standard behavior after M&A, and isn’t seen to be connected to the broader picture of tech layoffs. When teams combine there is often a skills overlap, resulting in job losses, and broader strategic changes are almost always introduced.

Gaming industry outlook

In fact, the outlook for the gaming industry is pretty sunny.

In 2023, following a post-pandemic slump, much-anticipated games titles like Starfield, Zelda and Spider-Man 2 buoyed console sales.

And looking to the next few years, New Zoo’s Global Games Market Report estimates a +4.2% CAGR (compound annual growth rate) increase for global gaming revenues by 2026, when the market is expected to reach $212.4 billion. While estimates from Statista are even more optimistic, projecting revenues of $282.30 billion in 2024.

Add to this, a recent report from estimates that consumer spending on mobile games will rebound 4% to $111.4 billion in 2024, not far from the pandemic highs of $115.8 billion, and overall anticipates a return to moderate growth for the industry.

Whether you lean more towards conservative or generous estimates, all predictions are heading the same direction, making gaming an appealing industry for tech professionals to sidestep into.

For non-technical roles, a pivot is more straightforward, while engineers interested in game dev would do well to upskill or refresh their knowledge of C++, C#, JavaScript, Swift, Java, Lua and Python. Though it would be most strategic to first identify where you want to work, and which companies are hiring first.

Find out what organizations are hiring at the BGR Job Board, sign up for alerts, and schedule time for a weekly browse. New roles in leading companies are updated constantly, like these three.


As Netflix amps up its push into gaming, the organization is hiring into a number of roles mostly in California, but with many remote too. These include engineering managers, security software engineers, technical artists, executive producers and solutions software engineers. The list goes on, so visit its company profile to see what’s on offer.


In 1999, NVIDIA invented the GPU, sparking growth in the PC gaming market, improving graphics and parallel computing. Since then, a lot has happened, including modern AI, and as a learning machine, the organization is looking to hire engineers to develop and execute timing closure plans for the next generation of CPU, GPU or SOC designs. Find out more here.

EA Sports

After reporting record live service sales, led by the EA Sports FC franchise, CEO Andrew Wilson recently told shareholders that EA Sports is focused on growing its biggest franchises while delivering new, innovative games and experiences. To that end, the sports entertainment brand is hiring into roles across the board from engineers to artists and analysts. See available roles here.

Find your next tech job on the BGR Job Board today

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