Microsoft To Close Xbox Entertainment Studios
Written Thursday, July 17, 2014 By Richard WalkerView author's profile
Microsoft is planning to close down Xbox Entertainment Studios, effectively ending the company's strategy to create original programming for Xbox platforms. Shows like football reality show 'Every Street United' have already seen release via Xbox Entertainment, while original projects already in production will continue unaffected.
Xbox Entertainment Studios apparently employs approximately 200 staff, and its closure could well be a part of Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella's plans to excise 18,000 staff from the company, with 12,500 already confirmed as former employees from the acquisition of Nokia.
Reports originating from both Recode and The Verge come from an email obtained by the latter source, disseminated internally by Xbox boss Phil Spencer. In the memo, Spencer notes that as part of Microsoft's restructuring and planned layoffs, company officials "plan to streamline a handful of portfolio and engineering development efforts across Xbox." This extends to the closure of Xbox Entertainment Studios "in the coming months," Spencer's email states.
As aforementioned, production on programming currently in production will carry on, so the likes of the Ridley Scott-produced Halo Nightfall and the Halo TV series will not be affected, and the same goes for documentary series Signal to Noise. Microsoft won't move away from launching and supporting non-gaming apps for Xbox in the future, despite the closure of Xbox Entertainment Studios suggesting as much.
Microsoft confirmed that it's set to shut down Xbox Entertainment Studios in a recently released statement sent to Polygon.