Skip to main content

Xbox reportedly lays off its support staff, replaces them with volunteers

Xbox One S bundle deal
Image used with permission by copyright holder

The next time you run into an issue with your Xbox One, the person helping you might be a volunteer rather than a paid employee.

Approximately 12 members of the Xbox support staff have reportedly been laid off by Affirma Consulting, a company that partnered with Microsoft. According to Polygon, the staff primarily worked in Microsoft’s offices.

Some of those affected have reportedly been responsible for training volunteers in the Xbox Ambassadors program — if you’ve ever tweeted at the Xbox Support account for help, you may have already been assisted by one of these community members. A small team of staff appears to remain to assist with Xbox Support and to help manage the Ambassadors, and Polygon was told by Microsoft that the company “continue[s] to have a number of highly-trained customer support agents, plus community ambassadors, available to help customers with their needs.”

Microsoft’s decision seems like it will have a negative impact on Xbox users’ experience with the console. Previously, messages sent through Twitter to the company’s support team were answered quickly and accurately, even regarding issues that had just appeared.

Twitter likely won’t be the best option for getting your questions answered in the future, but you can still get support directly from Microsoft by visiting the official Xbox Support website. There, you can have a live chat with a representative who can assist with technical issues, and the queue time is usually no more than a few minutes. As the support agent is working directly with you, there also isn’t any downtime in between sent messages

The Xbox One is a console with fairly low failure rates and the system has only improved with the Xbox One S and Xbox One X variants. Were Microsoft to do this last generation, it likely would have caused bigger issues. The Xbox 360 had a failure rate as high as 54 percent, often with the dreaded “red ring of death.”

In contrast, the Xbox One’s primary issues haven’t involved the entire console failing. Instead, users have dealt with faulty disc drives, which either make a loud grinding noise or fail to function at all.

Editors' Recommendations

Gabe Gurwin
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Gabe Gurwin has been playing games since 1997, beginning with the N64 and the Super Nintendo. He began his journalism career…
Xbox Game Pass loses three of its best games this month, including Hades
hades best builds key art new cropped hed 1244036

Xbox shared the second wave of August Game Pass titles coming this August, but what's leaving the service is a bit more notable. Game Pass is losing three indie heavy-hitters, including the award-winning Hades.

The mid-month additions to Game Pass this August feature many day-one additions such as Midnight Fight Express, Commandos 3, Immortality, and Tinykin. The only AAA game coming this month is Ubisoft's Immortals Fenyx Rising, with the total lineup spanning eight games across cloud, console, and PC. Here's the full list of games, what platforms they will be available on, and what date they will come to the service.

Read more
Microsoft lets Xbox Series S devs increase console’s memory
Xbox Series S placed on a white table with the controller just in front of it

Microsoft is allowing Xbox Series S developers to increase the console's memory, giving them more space to access games and boost the performance of some titles.

The June Game Development Kit (GDK) is Available Now

Read more
Every Xbox Series X game that supports ray tracing

Ray tracing is one of the most exciting new capabilities of the Xbox Series X. Brought to market by Nvidia's RTX range of graphics cards, ray tracing adds a new level of depth and realism to games. Instead of using predetermined lighting points or shadow maps, ray tracing follows each simulated photon of light, rendering reflections, shadows, and lighting overall in a more true-to-life way.

The problem is that ray tracing is extremely demanding, so not every game supports it. Worse, some games that originally advertised ray tracing don't support it now. We did the digging so you don't have to, compiling a list of every Xbox Series X game that supports ray tracing. Because of the mix-ups in marketing, our list is focused on released games only. It should grow significantly as the console generation matures.

Read more