Microsoft’s 10,000-person layoff may put a halt to the company’s HoloLens and headset-based projects, with entire teams working on mixed reality and virtual reality products being axed.
The layoffs also had an impact on the company’s games division, with studios like 343 Industries, Bethesda Game Studios, and The Coalition seeing significant staff reductions. Microsoft’s AR and VR departments were also affected by the layoffs.
Microsoft previously announced that it would be joining Amazon, Google, and others in laying off thousands of employees. The cuts reduce Microsoft’s global workforce by 5%, which grew rapidly in response to opportunities presented by the pandemic.
In addition to AltSpaceVR’s demise, Microsoft discharged the entire development team of the popular framework MRTK – Mixed Reality Took Kit. It is a cross-platform framework for virtual reality spatial anchors. MRTK was designed to work with Meta headsets and integrate with Unity VR, with a focus on HoloLens.
Following the departure of its chief architect, Alex Kipman, the HoloLens project has been winding down in recent years. Microsoft signed a contract with the US military to develop the HoloLens, which was recently terminated by the US Congress due to reports of problems with the headset.
These layoffs could jeopardize the future of HoloLens, which is currently battling to keep its military contract with the US government.
The sources for this piece include an article in WindowsCentral.