You read that right. Microsoft will be closing down the division that was to make Xbox-exclusive content. In recent days, Microsoft has announced a massive 18,000 downsizing exercise and looks like this division is one of the unlucky ones.
Microsoft Xbox Entertainement Studios was originally setup to produce exclusive content in a strategy to turn the Xbox into a device that is the centre for all media playing activities in the living room. This content would have been non-game related and would encompass both movies and other videos. In fact the Ridley Scott produced Halo prequel, Halo: Nightfall, is one such project.
Recent lag in sales of the Xbox One compared to the Playstation 4 could be attributed to the lack of focus in gaming for the former. And with the changes that new Microsoft CEO Satya Nadela has for the company, including a more focused strategy, this move can be seen as a way to get the Xbox One back into the gaming top spots. Of course that’s not the only changes we’ve seen with the Xbox One. In recent months, we’ve seen the Kinect get divorced from the Xbox One package and significant price drop in the console, all to make it more competitive against its biggest rival, the Playstation 4.
How about the existing projects you ask? Don’t worry Halo fans. You’ll still get your Halo: Nightfall. Microsoft will be completing that project since production for it has already gone into the late stages. Other projects that are in mid-development, like the documentary Signal to Noise and Halo TV series, will also be completed before the studio finally closes its shutters.