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Report: Microsoft to wind down Xbox Entertainment Studios
Report: Microsoft to wind down Xbox Entertainment Studios
July 17, 2014 | By Alex Wawro

Earlier today we reported that Microsoft is planning to cut up to 18,000 jobs over the next year as it refocuses its business on Xbox and mobile hardware.

Now, Re/code reports that Xbox Entertainment Studios will be shut down as part of the restructuring -- after it wraps up its current projects, including a documentary series and a live-action TV series based on the Halo franchise.

Based in Santa Monica, Xbox Entertainment recently spearheaded the excavation of a landfill in New Mexico to recover buried copies of the Atari game E.T. the Extraterrestrial as part of its efforts to produce a documentary on the North American video game crash of 1983.

The studio has been a key talking point of Microsoft's initiative to produce more original entertainment programming since the company hired former TV executive Nancy Tellem in 2012.

Update: Gamasutra has confirmed with Microsoft that Xbox Entertainment Studios is expected to close in the near future.

"As part of the planned reduction to our overall workforce announced today and in light of the Xbox vision to focus more on games and gamers, we plan to streamline a handful of portfolio and engineering development efforts across Xbox. One such plan is that we will expect to close Xbox Entertainment Studios in the coming months. Nancy Tellem, Jordan Levin and some of the XES team will stay on and remain committed to original programming already in production," stated a Microsoft representative.

The representative went on to claim that work on documentary series 'Signal to Noise', the Halo television series and Xbox interactive entertainment content like 'NFL on Xbox' will not be impacted by this restructuring, nor will the company's partnerships to provide sports, television and other entertainment content to Xbox owners.

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