Microsoft confirmed speculation that its Xbox EMEA team - that's Europe, the Middle East and Africa - would be affected by the company's biggest-ever round of job cuts. It's unknown how many layoffs were made at the EMEA division's UK headquarters, but an MCV source claims 75 percent of the team are to be let go, and staff have to reapply for the remaining 25 percent of roles. As revealed yesterday, Microsoft is laying off 18,000 employees from its 127,000-strong workforce following the acquisition of Nokia.

"We eliminated a number of EMEA roles in the UK to gain efficiencies," a Microsoft spokesperson told MCV today."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."

MCV's source also claimed 10 percent of the UK Xbox team are to be laid off, and all contractor roles are being cut. We've reached out to Microsoft to see if other Xbox teams, including those in North America, are affected.

The news tallies with Bloomberg's initial report on this week's cuts, in which sources claimed some of the layoffs would affect marketing departments in businesses such as the global Xbox team.
[Image: Microsoft]

This article was originally published on Joystiq.