Microsoft’s *Massive gutted in layoffs

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pinkslips_small.jpgADOTAS — The company’s second round of layffs has included firing many people in its in-game advertising unit.

CEO Steve Ballmer told employees yesterday that the company was going a head with its plan to eliminate 5,000 positions by June 2010. While a previous 1,400 positions were vaporized, another 3,000 were part of the second phase. According to Venture Beat, some *28 percent of the staff of Massive, its in-game advertising business, were cut. (According to a company statement, an earlier estimate, 75 percent, was “wildly inaccurate.”)

“We have made these adjustments in response to general benchmarks and growth trends in the in-game advertising industry. They will allow us operate more efficiently in the future, and we remain committed to growing the business. We foresee no disruption whatsoever to our current relationships with global, blue chip brands and leading game publishers,” according to the statement.  

Microsoft bought Massive three years ago for between $200 million and $400 million and had some business. It’s an ad network aimed at the video game audience.

According to comments at Mini-Microsoft, sales, marketing and technical sales people are being let go, as well as some at MSN and CMG. There are also some complaints with the Zune strategy, and an email from a top executive telling people to stop emailing about this. Naturally, the email is posted.

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