Horror movie director James Gunn has condemned Microsoft's handling of original video content for Xbox Live, describing the platform holder as "the most dreadful, non-talent friendly company".
Gunn wrote and filmed a number of short movies for Microsoft as part of Xbox Live's Horror Goes Comedy series. When signing up to the project he was promised "a lot of freedom", but according to Guun his films soon became subject to conservative content cuts and rejections.
"I still love Xbox gaming, but I think their original content plans are DOA, precisely because of situations like the experience I and some of the other directors had on the Horror Goes Comedy series," Gunn wrote on his blog.
Gunn pointed to Grand Theft Auto IV and downloadable episodes of South Park as proof of the popularity of adult content on the console.
"Microsoft wouldn't let us get close to the extremity of that material, so I don't know how in the world they planned to create their own successful original content," he explained. "People didn't want to see our shows, which were barely a half-step removed from something you'd see on the Disney Channel.
"It's a shame. I really think Xbox could have been its own Network, as well as a gaming console, DVR, and way to buy movies. I saw them as the future."
He concluded: "Because of the small-mindedness of the Microsoft executives, who pre-emptively censored a lot of our scenes for fear of freaking out stockholders, they crushed the potential for something that would have kept them relevant for a long time to come. It seems, instead, the visionaries have landed at other companies."