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Microsoft confirms Xbox Entertainment Studios closure

Microsoft confirms Xbox Entertainment Studios closure

Thu 17 Jul 2014 6:02pm GMT / 2:02pm EDT / 11:02am PDT
HardwareMedia

[UPDATE] Development of Remedy's Quantum Break will continue as normal

Update: Despite the decision to close Xbox Entertainment Studios, work on Remedy Entertainment's hybrid IP Quantum Break will continue as normal.

In a note sent to Polygon, Microsoft confirmed that Quantum Break, "will be released next year and the game and show both remain on track." Remedy's bold concept blends both game and TV show with the story arc playing out across both media. So far, further details have been relatively thin on the ground, but Remedy has pledged to reveal more at Gamescom in August.

Original Story: Microsoft's Phil Spencer has confirmed that its Santa Monica operation, Xbox Entertainment Studios, will be closing as part of the recently announced restructuring plan.

"As part of the planned reduction to our overall workforce announced today and in light of our organization's mission, we plan 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 said in a memo to the Xbox team.

"I am pleased that Nancy [Tellem], Jordan [Levin] and 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."

The studio has around 200 employees. Sources told Re/code that the operation was "disorganized" and "lacked a fully fleshed-out business model."

Xbox Entertainment Studios was initially touted as an important part of Xbox's future entertainment offering and signed up big names like Steven Spielberg and Ridley Scott.

Also promised were collaborations with UK broadcaster Channel 4, Stoopid Buddy Stoodios and an adaptation of the Warren Ellis novel Gun Machine.

7 Comments

Jeff Kleist Writer, Marketing, Licensing

354 213 0.6
Now before people start flying off the handle:

Hollywood is currently undergoing a radical reorganization. No longer are the Networks developing shows internally. Starting next year, pretty much everyone is going to be demanding you deliver a pilot to them to watch, on your own dime. Do you think Netflix developed house of cards? Nope, they outbid HBO for it. There is no reason to drop the kind of cash they're dropping, when investing, or buying streaming rights to, existing programming accomplishes the same goal for half or less the money. In other words, this was a high risk prospect out of line with how everyone else in the space was doing business, and unless it's something like Halo that they own, and will likely end up on Netflix or something doen the road, it's not really worth their time. And money to maintain the infrastructure for the occasional project.

Posted:3 months ago

#1

Caleb Hale Journalist

155 231 1.5
I think it also indicates the Xbox division finally realizes its core audience is still a game-focused one. They got a little punch drunk on the media entertainment box thing late into the Xbox 360's life cycle, and it carried over disastrously with the introduction of Xbox One. Did anyone ever ask for HBO-quality programming out of his/her Xbox?

Posted:3 months ago

#2

Paul Jace Merchandiser

935 1,410 1.5
the upcoming game franchise series 'Halo: Nightfall,' and the 'Halo' Television series which will continue as planned with 343 Industries
Well thats good news as I was really looking forward to those.

Posted:3 months ago

#3

Andrew Ihegbu Studying Bsc Commercial Music, University of Westminster

455 164 0.4
Starting next year, pretty much everyone is going to be demanding you deliver a pilot to them to watch, on your own dime.
Sounds like Kickstarter is going to be full of a lot more Movie Directors next year.I'm not sure I like the way the market is leaning towards forced pre-purchase and the end user assuming the risk for the business.

Edited 2 times. Last edit by Andrew Ihegbu on 17th July 2014 11:25pm

Posted:3 months ago

#4

Jeff Kleist Writer, Marketing, Licensing

354 213 0.6
@Caleb

Yes actually, they do. The question is whether Microsoft needs to be the one providing it.

Posted:3 months ago

#5
win - one region at a time. Games can span out other fringe merchandise like TV shows, books, collateral, toys...and as Disney found out/realised - license the IP out, its cheaper, brings in the dosh and you dont have to lift a finger....but you all knew that already.

Posted:3 months ago

#6

Jeff Kleist Writer, Marketing, Licensing

354 213 0.6
Well, Disney didn't make very many games internally, and for the record I LIKED Tron Legacy on both the game and film front. The game was OK, nothing special, but certainly worth playing for the story if you're a Tron fan. As far as I know, Infinity is still internal.

And Pure was a great game. One of their few originals, and a load of fun

Posted:2 months ago

#7

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