Microsoft Looking to Shut Down Xbox Entertainment Studios
Posted by Anthony Bacchus
Halo: Nightfall, Quantum Break unaffected
It's all about games, games, games now for Microsoft. In the coming months ahead, Microsoft will close down its Xbox Entertainment Studios division, the home of original Xbox programming.
This comes shortly after Microsoft announced they will be cutting over 18,000 jobs, the largest in the company's history, as part of a company-wide restructuring. The shuttering of XES is due to Microsoft wanting to put focus back on their video game business, a topic they've countlessly reaffirmed ever since Phil Spencer was promoted to head of Xbox.
We reported last week that Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella — in a memo to staff — considers the Xbox brand very important for the company, but did not mention anything about Xbox Entertainment Studios. XES was created in September 2012 as a means to offer original television content that would be exclusive to Xbox platforms. A few of those projects like the Ridley Scott-produced Halo: Nightfall will eventually see the light of day according to a memo from Phil Spencer:
"...members of the XES team remain committed to new, original programming already in production like the upcoming documentary series ‘Signal to Noise’ whose first installment 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."
Microsoft has also confirmed to Polygon that the live-action TV show for Quantum Break will not be affected by the closure and that they are excited to unveil more about the game and show at Gamescom next month.
Microsoft put former CBS executive Nancy Tellum in charge of XES, where she greentlit a handful of original content, including the recently released "Every Street United," a soccer-focused program that debuted alongside this year's FIFA World Cup.
It really looks like Microsoft is serious about streamlining their core divisions, and that includes Xbox as well. How do you feel about Xbox Entertainment Studios closing its doors? Were there TV programs that you were looking forward to? Is this ultimately a good decision for the future of the company? Sound off below and let us know.