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Microsoft to Close Xbox Entertainment Studios

As part of a plan to lay off 18,000 employees, Microsoft has confirmed that it is shutting down Xbox Entertainment Studios, the company;s ambitious effort to create original content for its gaming consoles, and that it is refocusing its strategies for its Xbox gaming consoles.

“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,” a Microsoft spokesperson noted in an email confirming that the company planned to shut down Xbox Entertainment Studios.

The spokesperson also explained that “Nancy Tellem, Jordan Levin and some of the XES team will stay on and remain committed to 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.”

In addition, Xbox will continue to support and deliver interactive sports content like "NFL on Xbox."

The app partnerships for TV, entertainment, sports and entertainment content will also not be impacted “in any way and remain an important component of our Xbox strategy,” the company explained.

- Based on reporting by Jeff Baumgartner at Multichannel News.