Microsoft has confirmed it is shutting down its Xbox Entertainment Studios – the company responsible for making original content for its Xbox Live subscribers. The planned Halo TV series will, however, remain unaffected.
The news follows the announcement that Microsoft is to cut 18,000 jobs over the next six months, marking the biggest cutbacks in the near 40-year history of the company.
Phil Spencer, the head of Microsoft’s Xbox division and Microsoft Studios, confirmed the closure “in the coming months” of Xbox Entertainment Studios, which was started in 2012.
Spencer said that as part of the planned reduction to the division’s overall workforce and in light of his organisation’s mission, it planned to streamline a handful of portfolio and engineering development efforts across Xbox. “One such plan is that, in the coming months, we expect to close Xbox Entertainment Studios,” he stated.
“Nancy [Tellem], Jordan [Levin] and members of the XES team remain committed to new, original programming already in production,” he wrote, “like the upcoming documentary series Signal to Noise whose first instalment takes on the rise and fall of gaming icon Atari and of course, the upcoming game franchise series Halo: Nightfall, and the Halo Television series which will continue as planned with 343 Industries.”
“Xbox will continue to support and deliver interactive sports content like NFL on Xbox, and we will continue to enhance our entertainment offering on console by innovating the TV experience through the monthly console updates.”
“Additionally, our app partnerships with world-class content providers bringing entertainment, sports and TV content to Xbox customers around the world are not impacted by this organizational change in any way and remain an important component of our Xbox strategy.”