Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella announced in a company email that Microsoft will be letting go of 18,000 employees. 12,500 of these losses will come from the company’s recently acquired Nokia Devices and Services division, however other areas will be affected. Xbox head Phil Spencer has confirmed that the Xbox Entertainment Studios division will be closing in the coming months.
Xbox Entertainment Studios was originally set to produce original content for Xbox Live, including documentaries, reboots and original productions. A small number of employees will remain to continue production on the Halo: Nightfall digital series as well as the Halo TV series, as well as Signal To Noise, the documentary which recently found the fabled stockpile of buried E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial cartridges.
“I would like to take this opportunity,” Spencer said in an email, “to recognise the accomplishments from the entire team in [Xbox Entertainment Studios]. They have built an impressive slate of original programming and pioneered interactive entertainment on the Xbox.
“…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.
“…We will simplify the way we work to drive greater accountability, become more agile and move faster,” said Nadella in his company-wide email, “The overall result of these changes will be more productive, impactful teams across Microsoft…Making these decisions to change are difficult, but necessary”