Microsoft has confirmed that they are set to shut down their Xbox Entertainment Studios which is their internal branch that is dedicated to creating original programming for the Xbox brand.
According to Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, there are plans for massive layoffs with as many as 18,000 Microsoft employees set to lose their jobs over the next year. There will be about 12,500 layoffs coming from the Nokia Devices and Services division, the division that was from Microsoft?s acquisition of Nokia?s smartphone and tablet branch that was finalized earlier this year. The new direction that the Xbox division will be taking will focus more on the Xbox hardware and the technology that could extend across Microsoft.
Phil Spencer, head of Xbox, mentioned in a statement that the company officials plan to streamline a handful of portfolio and engineering development efforts across Xbox. The Xbox Entertainment Studios will be affected by this change and will be closing in the coming months.
Spencer mentioned that the production for programming that is already in development will survive. The survivors include: the Signal to Noise documentary series, Halo Nightfall as well as the Halo television series. Spencer went on to add that even though the Xbox Entertainment Studios closure is coming, it doesn?t mean that Microsoft is moving away from launching and supporting non-gaming apps for the Xbox devices.
Xbox Entertainment Studios was founded in early 2013 when former CBS Television executive Nancy Tellem was running things. The main purpose of the group was to develop scripted, reality and interactive programming for Microsoft?s Xbox division. Content coming from the studio would be released exclusively on Xbox Live and was meant to solidify Microsoft?s pitch for the Xbox One as the go to gaming and entertainment device for the living room.
Xbox Entertainment Studios had a lot on its plate with different television projects like Xbox Originals, Halo: The Television Series (with Steven Spielberg as an executive producer), and Signal to Noise; Humans. Sources though, indicate that the studio was disorganized and didn?t have a strong business plan which scared off potential studio partners.
Photo Source: Xbox Entertainment Studios wiki
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