Following the announcement of Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella’s restructuring strategy, the company has confirmed it will be shutting down Xbox Entertainment Studios.
As part of the company's restructuring, which will see up to 18,000 people laid off over the next year, Microsoft is set to close the two year old studio (tasked with creating original television content for the Xbox One) to focus more exclusively on gaming, while both Ridley Scott’s and Steven Spielberg's planned live-action Halo series’ will remain unaffected.
Additionally, reports suggest that the Xbox U.K. team has been reduced by 10 percent and all contract roles have been cut.
"As the planned reduction to our overall workforce announced today and in light of our organization's mission, we plan to streamline handful of portfolio and engineering development efforts across Xbox,” says Xbox head Phil Spencer .
"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.”
Xbox Entertainment Studios will gradually shut down, with the studio continuing work on projects that are currently in production.
The layoffs are presumed to represent about 14 percent of the entire Microsoft workforce. Historically, the company’s biggest layoff took place back in 2009, where close to 6000 people were affected.
Nadella was named Microsoft CEO in February. He used to head the firm’s computing platforms and develop tools department.