Xbox Entertainment Studios is the next part of Microsoft to suffer from the announced restructuring last Thursday. The point of Xbox Entertainment Studios was to create dedicated digital video content for the Xbox platform. This change is meant to be a realignment of Microsoft and the Xbox brand to their gaming core.
Xbox Entertainment Studios a Redmond, Washington based company was created internally in 2012 after Microsoft hired Nancy Tellem, a former CBS executive. The purpose was to create digital content, such as the Every Street United reality show that aired last month and also hope to facilitate the streaming of live events such as Call of Duty Championships and the VGX in the future. The plan for Microsoft to cut 18,000 jobs in the next 12 months was announced earlier last week in a memo from Chief Executive Satya Nadella but there was no mention of the planned original video programming.
The projects that Xbox Entertainment Studios has already completed will still be released as planned so fans that were looking forward to Halo: Nightfall, the Halo based TV show produced by Spielberg and “Signal to Noise”, whose first episode will detail the rise and fall of Atari, can be assured that they will still see that content in the future.
Phil Spencer, the head of Microsoft Studios, did reiterate that programming that was already in production would still continue, he also made sure to let consumers know that this doesn’t mean that they will stop supporting entertainment apps such as ‘NFL on Xbox’ and that Microsoft will continue to deliver monthly updates to the Xbox one and that this and other App partnerships will not be effected by Microsoft’s planned restructure.
Below is Phil Spencer’s Memo announcing the close of the Xbox Entertainment Studios in the coming months.
“I hope you have had a chance to read today’s mails from Satya. I wanted to take a moment to share a few thoughts on what this means for our team and some of the changes we are making as a result.In last week’s mail outlining some of the steps towards creating the culture and organization to bring our ambitions to life, Satya called out the strategic importance of Xbox as a strong consumer brand, a creative center for gaming and a leader in bold innovation. Every member of Team Xbox should be incredibly proud of the impact and reach your work has within the walls of Microsoft, with our developer community and most importantly, with consumers.
Microsoft is the productivity and platform company for a mobile-first and cloud-first world, and games are the single biggest digital life category in a mobile-first world. Success in this category, by growing a robust Xbox business, brings additional value to Microsoft. I have stated this before, but for Xbox to be successful, we must remain committed to being a consumer-driven organization with the mission of meeting the high expectations of a passionate fan base, to create the best games and to drive technical innovation.
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. I would like to take this opportunity to recognize the accomplishments from the entire team in XES. They have built an impressive slate of original programming and pioneered interactive entertainment on Xbox, such as the innovative reality series ‘Every Street United’ that succeeded in uniting audiences around the globe during the recent World Cup.
I am pleased that Nancy, Jordan 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 toenhance our entertainment offering on console by innovating the TV experience through the monthly console updates. Additionally, our app partnerships with world-class content providers bringing entertainment, sports and TV content to Xbox customers around the world are not impacted by this organizational change in any way and remain an important component of our Xbox strategy.
Change is never easy, but I believe the changes announced today help us better align with our long-term goals. We have an incredible opportunity ahead of us to define what the next generation of gaming looks like for the growing Xbox community. I have a great deal of confidence in this team and know that with clarity of focus on our mission and our customers we can accomplish great things together. We already have.
Thank you again for all you do for Xbox.
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