During last year’s announcement of the Xbox One, Microsoft received a lot of flack for its focus on television. A key part of the reason for that focus was the company’s plans to produce and distribute original content through its Xbox Entertainment Studios division.
This morning those plans changed as the company announced the cutting of approximately 18,000 jobs from the company’s global 120,000 strong workforce. Whilst many of the cuts are from former phone company juggernaut Nokia, some of the sharpest are from Xbox Entertainment Studios which they’ve confirmed will be closed in coming months.
Nancy Tellem, Jordan Levin and some of the team will stay for now to shepherd original programming already announced and in production. This means that their documentary series “Signal to Noise,” their digital feature “Halo: Nightfall,” their interactive sports content (eg. “NFL on Xbox”) and the proposed Spielberg-produced “Halo” TV series will continue as planned.
What likely won’t happen is any further projects beyond those, including many (if not all) the broad slate of ‘Xbox Originals’ announced in April. That announcement include a remake of the Swedish series “Humans” and pilots for potential series like “Deadlands,” “Winterworld,” “Fearless,” “Gun Machine” and adaptations of Xbox properties like “Gears of War”.