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European Xbox team 'hit hard' by Microsoft cuts

But plans to launch Xbox One in 13 EU countries this September unchanged

Microsoft is reportedly making significant cuts to the Xbox EMEA (Europe Middle East and Africa) team based in Reading, UK.

An MCV source claims that as many as 75 per cent of full time Xbox EMEA roles in Reading have been eliminated, with staff having to reapply for the remaining positions.

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The UK Xbox team has also reportedly been cut by ten per cent. The EMEA positions affected are believed to be in marketing and PR departments, rather than development.

While Microsoft didn't confirm exact figures, it released the following statement. "We eliminated a number of EMEA roles in the UK to gain efficiencies. We remain very committed to the market and will continue to support our local development teams.

"We believe that the UK has exceptional games industry talent and we'll continue to focus on game creation 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."

The news follows Thursday's confirmation from Microsoft that it is to lay off 18,000 employees - roughly seven per cent of its total staff - throughout the next year.

Microsoft executive vice president Stephen Elop said that "with a set of changes already implemented earlier this year" in some teams, "there will be limited change" for Xbox hardware, next generation, Surface and other departments.

The company has since confirmed that it will close Xbox Entertainment Studios, which is responsible for original TV programming for Xbox platforms.

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