Microsoft's Head of Xbox, Phil Spencer, has today announced the impending closure of the publisher's Xbox Entertainment Studios division. First announced to the world at the Xbox One reveal event in the Summer of 2012, the sub-corporation was created with the intention of spearheading a variety of original TV shows to be broadcast via Xbox Live and other partners' US networks, with the Steven Spielberg-produced Halo live-action TV series and the Ridley Scott-assisted digital production Halo: Nightfall amongst its much-anticipated headline acts.
Thankfully, neither of the aforementioned Halo licensed tie-ins will bite the proverbial dust as a result of this disheartening turn of events, since Nancy Tellem and other members of Xbox Entertainment Studios will remain with Microsoft to complete production on already-commissioned titles such as those. Here's what Spencer had to say in his official message to the press today: "As part of the planned reduction to our overall workforce announced today [over 18,000 Microsoft employees are to be made redundant later this year] and in light of our organization's mission, we plan to streamline a handful of engineering development efforts across Xbox. One such plan is that, in the coming months, we expect to close Xbox Entertainment Studios." More details on the concerning situation will doubtless emerge in the coming weeks, but for now, our thoughts are with the countless Xbox employees whose thoughts are surely ones of concern at potentially having to seek out gainful employment elsewhere come the fiscal year's conclusion.
The next major first-party video game release coming exclusively to Xbox One and Windows 8 is Project Spark, the retail version of which will launch in stores worldwide this October 10th. Halo: Nightfall will come packaged with Halo: The Master Chief Collection (also only available on the One) on November 14th.