As part of the massive layoffs Microsoft announced today, Microsoft is going to shut down the recently formed Xbox Entertainment Studios which was responsible for creating original programming for Xbox platform. CBS entertainment president Nancy Tellem was hired by Microsoft back in 2012 to lead these efforts and their recent production was “Every Street United” which was premiered on Xbox One during the world cup. There are about 12 projects currently in various stages of production.
Few months back, this was the position inside Microsoft,
Xbox Entertainment Studios has attracted a slew of top Hollywood talent to develop its original programming slate, with names like Steven Spielberg and Ridley Scott attached to two separate scripted projects based on the “Halo” franchise – but that’s only the beginning. Other shows in production include an unscripted series about international street soccer, an original drama about robotic servants in a dystopian world, and a documentary about the search for discarded Atari games in a desert landfill – which were unearthed yesterday in New Mexico – amongst several others. “We are developing premium, original content for the Xbox community which is an audience we are incredibly respectful of,” said Nancy Tellem, President of Xbox Entertainment Studios. “We believe Xbox Originals should embrace the way our fans think about traditional TV.” Tellem’s creative vision involves year-round, high-quality programs based on subjects gamers care about, with interactive features tailored to each show.
If Microsoft decided to fire about 200 employees from Xbox Entertainment Studios , the future of original programming for Xbox will effectively with the already produced projects. In the recent memo to its employees, Satya Nadella said Microsoft will remain committed to gaming with Xbox as the platform. As per Variety, s resources and energies into its core software, Internet and video game businesses. However, Microsoft will continue their plans with Halo, project on discarded Atari games and few others for now, but the prospects laid out by Tellem at the NewFronts in May is expected to be significantly trimmed.
Read Phil Spencer’s mail to Xbox employees,
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 to enhance 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.
via: The Verge