Xbox Entertainment Studios Closed for Good Following Staff Cuts
Xbox Entertainment Studios has officially closed.
As company-wide reduction plans were confirmed in July, XES team leaders Nancy Tellem and Jordan Levin have both made their respective departures after a round of workforce cuts throughout the company.
In total, approximately 3,000 employees were laid off from the company, and many existing projects that never made it to the developmental stages were ultimately scrapped.
The story was reported on Variety, who cited a focus shift within Microsoft from the specifics of gaming to the more general entertainment and software markets as the driving force behind these changes.
Tellem and Levin were regarded highly among Microsoft staff. Tellem took up the studio's presidential chair back in September 2012, and the pair were expected to remain on site for the development of the original programming in the works until the end of the year. According to a Microsoft representative:
"[Tellem and Levin] were key members and visionaries for the XES team, and we thank them for their leadership and many contributions."
GameInformer.com previously noted that some survivors of the Microsoft project sweep included the Lightbox documentary film Atari: Game Over, the Halo: Nightfall segment of Halo: The Master Chief Collection, and the Halo television series set to air on Showtime. These projects are currently undisturbed by the cuts, and fans are urged to stay tuned for more information.