Microsoft news recap: old Call of Duty titles hit top charts on Xbox following online multiplayer fix, sales and customer service roles axed, and more

Jack Wilkinson

Microsoft logo on car hood

Microsoft news recap is a weekly feature highlighting the top Microsoft news stories of the past week. Sit back, grab some coffee, and enjoy the read!

Microsoft layoffs: Over 1,000 axed as sales and customer service division undergo transformation

Microsoft has reportedly laid off over 1,000 employees, mostly in its sales and customer service divisions. These layoffs are part of a broader transformation of Microsoft’s sales and customer service operations. The company is shifting its focus to cloud computing and other high-growth areas, and is consolidating its sales and customer service teams.

The layoffs come at a time when Microsoft is facing increasing competition from rivals like Amazon and Google. Microsoft has not released any specific details about the layoffs, but sources say that they affected employees across all levels and functions. The company has said that it is providing severance packages and outplacement assistance to the affected employees.

Microsoft’s Activision acquisition nears conclusion as the FTC suspend in-house complaint

Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard is nearing completion. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has suspended its in-house complaint against the deal, which was filed in December 2022. The FTC had concerns that the acquisition would reduce competition in the video game industry.

The suspension of the FTC complaint is a major victory for Microsoft. The deal is still subject to approval by the UKs Competition and Markets Authority, but it is expected to close later this year, as the two sides are in discussion on a solution to concerns raised by the agency.

FTC chair Lina Khan in Office

Xbox 360 Call of Duty titles get new life after broken servers were restored

Xbox 360 Call of Duty titles have been revived after the online servers were restored. The servers for Black Ops, Black Ops 2, and Modern Warfare 3 have had issues preventing matchmaking over the past few years, but the servers were recently restored by Microsoft, and gamers are now flocking back to these classic games.

The restoration of the servers has been met with a lot of excitement from fans. Many gamers have fond memories of playing these games online, and they are happy to be able to experience them again. The servers have also been a boon for the Call of Duty community, as it has given players a chance to reconnect with old friends and make new ones. Clasic Call of Duty titles have hit the top charts for paid games on Xbox in the last week, showing a large increase in popularity since the fix.

Sales of the Xbox Series X have also seemingly increased, perhaps coincidentally, since the fix. The Xbox Series X is backward compatible with Xbox 360 games, and the restoration of the servers means that gamers can now play these games online on the newer console.

Black Ops 1 Server Revival Custom

Xbox Live Gold to become Xbox Game Pass Core starting in September

Microsoft is rebranding Xbox Live Gold as Xbox Game Pass Core. The change will take effect on September 14, 2023. Xbox Game Pass Core will be the same price as Xbox Live Gold, at $9.99 per month or $59.99 per year.

Xbox Game Pass Core will offer slightly different perks to Xbox Live Gold. Whilst online multiplayer will remain a feature, the new subscription will do away with the monthly Games with Gold, instead being replaced by access to 25+ games from the Game Pass library.

Current Xbox Live Gold subscribers will automatically be converted to Xbox Game Pass Core members on September 14. They will not have to pay any additional fees.

Xbox Game Pass Core Custom

That’s it for this week. We wil be back next week with more Microsoft news.