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July 18, 2014

Microsoft Logging Off on Xbox Entertainment Studio

Part of Company's Sweeping Layoffs and Staff Reduction

Microsoft image — The Xbox One.

Times change and, in some cases, quickly.

Microsoft image

Microsoft image

Earlier this month, Microsoft chief executive officer Satya Nadella praised Xbox and stressed its importance to the company’s core. Nadella, in a lengthy memo to staff, mentioned the game console and how it remains a vital part of Microsoft’s future.

“Bottom line, we will continue to innovate and grow our fan base with Xbox while also creating additive business value for Microsoft,” he wrote in that memo.

Well, Xbox may well be a pivotal part of Microsoft but when the axe fell Thursday it was one sector of the company that felt the cut.

The company’s Xbox Entertainment Studio, USA Today reported, will be shut down as part of Microsoft’s layoff and restructuring plan. The company said Thursday it will eliminate 18,000 jobs in the next 12 months and the recently-created studio division of Xbox will be a victim.

The division studio has been part of Xbox’s attempt to challenge services such as Netflix with original programming to be viewed on Xbox Live. Division head Phil Spencer, in an e-mail, said there will still be a commitment to that programming but the move is a bid to “streamline a handful of portfolio and engineering development efforts,” he wrote.

Programs that have already been in development, such as the Steven Spielberg-produced series based on the popular Halo game series, aren’t impacted.

“Change is never easy, but I believe the changes announced today help us better align with our long-term goals,” Spencer said in that e-mail, as reported by Game Informer.

“We have an incredible opportunity ahead of us to define what the next generation of gaming looks like for the growing Xbox community. I have a great deal of confidence in this team and know that with clarity of focus on our mission and our customers we can accomplish great things together. We already have.”


W. Brice McVicar is a staff writer for SiteProNews.