27 posts in this topic

Microsoft will shut down the Xbox Entertainment Studios, ending an ambitious foray into original video programming.
 
The Santa Monica studio, with its estimated 200 employees, will be shuttered as Microsoft focuses on strengthening its core videogame business. The move is part of Microsoft?s company-wide restructuring announced on Thursday morning, which will see the elimination of up to 18,000 jobs in the next 12 months.
 
Chief Executive Satya Nadella signaled the change in a lengthy memo to Microsoft staff that expressed support for the Xbox and its importance to the company ? but omitted any reference to original television programming.
 
?The single biggest digital life category, measured in both time and money spent, in a mobile-first world is gaming,? Nadella wrote a week ago. ?We are fortunate to have Xbox in our family to go after this opportunity with unique and bold innovation. Microsoft will continue to vigorously innovate and delight gamers with Xbox.?
 
Absent was any mention of Xbox Entertainment Studios, a division it created when it hired longtime CBS entertainment president Nancy Tellem in September 2012. Her mandate at the time was to make entertainment content that could only be found on the Xbox Live online platform.
 
Xbox Entertainment Studios fit with Microsoft?s plan to dominate the living room through its game console. But the unit has struggled to deliver on its promise.
 
Sources paint a picture of a disorganized studio that struggled to close deals and lacked a fully fleshed-out business model.

 

Source: http://recode.net/2014/07/17/microsoft-to-shut-down-xbox-entertainment-studios/

 

TV TV TV ?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Phil is all about the games nuff said.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm glad they're finishing up the Halo stuff, but I wasn't particularly excited about anything else they had lined up.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Looks like they may have shut too much of their entertainment down! Xbox Music and Video on Windows PC's and phones is down!   /sarcasm

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So much for that then...

 

Seems a few pundits online believe the lukewarm reaction to Sony's announcements at E3 were the final nail in the coffin.

 

I'm all for putting that money towards new IP (not splinters of existing IP), but it looks like MS need to rethink their TV strat.

 

 

 

The forums and front page can post the same news. Discussions are usually more in depth here for starters.

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

They of course don't need their own studio for any  of the planned stuff. In fact contracting may not be just cheaper, but also give better quality

2 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As much as I am a Xbox fan, all this flip flopping is getting a bit long in the tooth.

The Xbox has just about gotten away from everything I loved about it.

I don't need 2 like consoles.

May 2013, was everything I wanted... Without ever experiencing it, I knew that was the way I wanted it...

The Xbox One has almost NO differentiating factors to sell itself... Never thought I would say that...

As annoying as Mattrick was, he was actually right. People should of just bought or stuck with the 360.

All people really want is a 360 with a spruced up graphics card?

4 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ah the old TV TV TV joke, never gets old......

Anyway, I'm disappointed that it was not working for them. Since they are abandoning those plans, it leaves Sony with a clear advantage. As they roll out their TV-like service for the ps4, MS will have nothing to counter it. Of course, most that post around here have little interest in such content on either console, but there is actually a large group of consumers that do and will make use of such a service from Sony.

We will see if MS has other ideas for shoring up the entertainment side of things going forward.

Of course getting more gaming content because of this would be nice, but I have my doubts that it will change many minds.

As much as I am a Xbox fan, all this flip flopping is getting a bit long in the tooth.

The Xbox has just about gotten away from everything I loved about it.

Don't waste your time typing things like this. Honestly, your in a minority group that wants or likes those types of features online. Most posting here have no interest and very much want what you describe. They, at best, tolerate non-gaming features and if they own an X1, barely use the thing at all beyond the rare game that they want. They want something that plays better games and that is it. The online community has spoken, and MS has listened. You can't really blame MS for actually doing what people ask them to do.

Every step MS has taken can be traced back to negative feedback.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As much as I am a Xbox fan, all this flip flopping is getting a bit long in the tooth.

The Xbox has just about gotten away from everything I loved about it.

I don't need 2 like consoles.

May 2013, was everything I wanted... Without ever experiencing it, I knew that was the way I wanted it...

The Xbox One has almost NO differentiating factors to sell itself... Never thought I would say that...

As annoying as Mattrick was, he was actually right. People should of just bought or stuck with the 360.

All people really want is a 360 with a spruced up graphics card?

 

Agree and disagree with you. I don't believe we need that many differentiating factors - better performance and graphics to me are 90% of what constitutes progress, and in performance i also include the much faster UI, faster downloads, improved controller, and many other factors. However, MS are all over the place and as you said this flip flopping is indeed too much. Now that it's at the cost of people's jobs, it's no longer even amusing anymore.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Agree and disagree with you. I don't believe we need that many differentiating factors - better performance and graphics to me are 90% of what constitutes progress, and in performance i also include the much faster UI, faster downloads, improved controller, and many other factors. However, MS are all over the place and as you said this flip flopping is indeed too much. Now that it's at the cost of people's jobs, it's no longer even amusing anymore.

Again, this is what the internet demanded. They demanded that MS stop the 'silly' interest in non-gaming content.

So shutting down this studio makes perfect sense. Why keep these people around if there is no demand for the content.

I find it funny how people get upset with MS for being 'all over the place' or 'flip flopping' when almost every step is a step most around here and elsewhere said must be done. No pats on the back for MS following through.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Again, this is what the internet demanded. They demanded that MS stop the 'silly' interest in non-gaming content.

So shutting down this studio makes perfect sense. Why keep these people around if there is no demand for the content.

I find it funny how people get upset with MS for being 'all over the place' or 'flip flopping' when almost every step is a step most around here and elsewhere said must be done. No pats on the back for MS following through.

 

There's surely middle ground between their vision and accommodating the demands of the user base that don't involve disrupting the lives of hundreds of employees!

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Again, this is what the internet demanded. They demanded that MS stop the 'silly' interest in non-gaming content.

So shutting down this studio makes perfect sense. Why keep these people around if there is no demand for the content.

I find it funny how people get upset with MS for being 'all over the place' or 'flip flopping' when almost every step is a step most around here and elsewhere said must be done. No pats on the back for MS following through.

What I find funny is how easily you seem to roll over to common interest lately rather than thinking for yourself.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

they just recently opened new stores too. Does this affect MSFT stores? or is this strictly internal?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As much as I am a Xbox fan, all this flip flopping is getting a bit long in the tooth.

The Xbox has just about gotten away from everything I loved about it.

I don't need 2 like consoles.

May 2013, was everything I wanted... Without ever experiencing it, I knew that was the way I wanted it...

The Xbox One has almost NO differentiating factors to sell itself... Never thought I would say that...

As annoying as Mattrick was, he was actually right. People should of just bought or stuck with the 360.

All people really want is a 360 with a spruced up graphics card?

Sums up my thoughts quite nicely. I loved your comment about May 2013 in particular.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As much as I am a Xbox fan, all this flip flopping is getting a bit long in the tooth.

The Xbox has just about gotten away from everything I loved about it.

I don't need 2 like consoles.

May 2013, was everything I wanted... Without ever experiencing it, I knew that was the way I wanted it...

The Xbox One has almost NO differentiating factors to sell itself... Never thought I would say that...

As annoying as Mattrick was, he was actually right. People should of just bought or stuck with the 360.

All people really want is a 360 with a spruced up graphics card?

 

I've been saying for a while that we should bring back modular consoles.  The Sega Dreamcast, SNES, Nintendo Gamecube, Nintendo 64, Sega Genesis, even some earlier models of the PS1, all had the capability for add-on hardware via a port or something they had put in them.  None of them were really fleshed out as much as they could have been, but I don't see why we can't make consoles user upgrade-able.  Need more RAM?  Put in this expansion card, like the old N64 had.  Been 2 or 3 years since launch and games need more powerful graphics hardware?  Just plug and play this piece of the console and kablamo!

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

in ancient era, game console are modular & upgradeable (albeit limited), ask The MSX.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

None of the shows they announced/launched so far had appealed me (besides the Halo stuff). I didn't care for the Every street united, I don't care for the upcoming Atari documentary.

 

If Xbox had to cut fluff, this was the right place to bring down the axe.

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ah the old TV TV TV joke, never gets old......Anyway, I'm disappointed that it was not working for them. Since they are abandoning those plans, it leaves Sony with a clear advantage. As they roll out their TV-like service for the ps4, MS will have nothing to counter it. Of course, most that post around here have little interest in such content on either console, but there is actually a large group of consumers that do and will make use of such a service from Sony.We will see if MS has other ideas for shoring up the entertainment side of things going forward.Of course getting more gaming content because of this would be nice, but I have my doubts that it will change many minds.Don't waste your time typing things like this. Honestly, your in a minority group that wants or likes those types of features online. Most posting here have no interest and very much want what you describe. They, at best, tolerate non-gaming features and if they own an X1, barely use the thing at all beyond the rare game that they want. They want something that plays better games and that is it. The online community has spoken, and MS has listened. You can't really blame MS for actually doing what people ask them to do.Every step MS has taken can be traced back to negative feedback.

I'm not a big Apple fan. But the one thing I loved about Steve Jobs, he didn't let people detour him. No matter how much bigger and better the competition was getting, he continued to stick to his guns.

I've never saw a company that was terrified to try different things. It's almost like MS are scared to breath without getting permission first.

You know that one thing that's a given on a video game consoles? Games. Games are a given. Does the One look like it's going to be starving for new games?. Nope. I do remember hearing the words "$1-billion budget for games alone".

I paid $500 for a box that was suppose to be my one stop shop for anything I wanted or needed without "I have other devices for that"

That was the whole point. Why would I want a bunch of devices if there is one device that can do everything in one shot.

I love my Roku,mbut I wouldn't need it on the same tv as my One. So now the Roku resides in the living room instead of the man cave.

I love my 360, and have a ton of games for it. It has now been shifted to a different room. My bedroom now has a ps3.

The One allows me (and I'm sure tons of other people) to move devices to other parts of the house.

And here's the really funny part, Amazon Fire Tv has some "like qualities" of the Xbox One with voice search.

Rumor has it that, Roku may be heading down that path. And Apple may push Siri along that path as well.

And as much as I don't want to drag competing consoles into this. It's doin the same thing. Only difference is talking about it less.

And watch it take off for them and be a success and MS will once again stand there and look stupid, as they try and play catch up again.

MS could of kept all these different features, all they had to do was not talk about them.

If all people want to hear about is games, then talk about games only. Then when the features release, let people know that it's released. That's all. Don't make it bigger than life. Just subtly release it and subtly announce it.

2 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There's surely middle ground between their vision and accommodating the demands of the user base that don't involve disrupting the lives of hundreds of employees!

 

I'm not sure, do you have a suggestion?

I suggest you red up on what the group was doing. Apparently, they had been doing a poor job all around behind the scenes. There were management issues, lack of success talking to content providers, lack of a coherent plan, etc. It did not sound good.

 

What I find funny is how easily you seem to roll over to common interest lately rather than thinking for yourself.

I haven't been sharing my personal feelings on it, so how am I not thinking for myself?

I was pointing out that people should no longer be shocked when MS takes steps to modify their plans based on feedback. I haven't mentioned if I'm a fan of the changes or not since its irrelevant. MS choices reflect the community's reaction. Its pretty simple.

For the record, I am very interested in non gaming content and that experience on the X1. I'm also interested in using Kinect. But defending those things or getting all upset as they get rolled back got tiresome a while back. Here and elsewhere, the majority are on the other side.

 

 

I'm not a big Apple fan. But the one thing I loved about Steve Jobs, he didn't let people detour him. No matter how much bigger and better the competition was getting, he continued to stick to his guns.

I've never saw a company that was terrified to try different things. It's almost like MS are scared to breath without getting permission first.

MS does not have fan base that Apple does to allow them to stick to their guns.

MS did get terrified. When you see the backlash that was given to them pre-launch, your darn right they were terrified. So since then, MS decided to change plans to best clean up the issues. Basically, that means a returned focus on games.

 

You know that one thing that's a given on a video game consoles? Games. Games are a given. Does the One look like it's going to be starving for new games?. Nope. I do remember hearing the words "$1-billion budget for games alone".

I paid $500 for a box that was suppose to be my one stop shop for anything I wanted or needed without "I have other devices for that"

That was the whole point. Why would I want a bunch of devices if there is one device that can do everything in one shot.

I love my Roku,mbut I wouldn't need it on the same tv as my One. So now the Roku resides in the living room instead of the man cave.

I love my 360, and have a ton of games for it. It has now been shifted to a different room. My bedroom now has a ps3.

The One allows me (and I'm sure tons of other people) to move devices to other parts of the house.

And here's the really funny part, Amazon Fire Tv has some "like qualities" of the Xbox One with voice search.

Rumor has it that, Roku may be heading down that path. And Apple may push Siri along that path as well.

And as much as I don't want to drag competing consoles into this. It's doin the same thing. Only difference is talking about it less.

And watch it take off for them and be a success and MS will once again stand there and look stupid, as they try and play catch up again.

MS could of kept all these different features, all they had to do was not talk about them.

If all people want to hear about is games, then talk about games only. Then when the features release, let people know that it's released. That's all. Don't make it bigger than life. Just subtly release it and subtly announce it.

I agree with you since I use the console in the same way, but again, MS catered to other users, not us.

I'm not so sure that simply not talking about features would have resulted in less backlash. It would not have changed Kinect's fate. Plus, it would have been a waste for MS if few even knew features existed.

MS just messed up some pr at the beginning and this is their punishment.

Oh and keep in mind that ending the original programming does not mean an end to more non gaming content. Phil mentioned that in this announcement. They are still pursuing entertainment apps and third party content.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm not sure, do you have a suggestion?

I suggest you red up on what the group was doing. Apparently, they had been doing a poor job all around behind the scenes. There were management issues, lack of success talking to content providers, lack of a coherent plan, etc. It did not sound good.

 

 

That could well be and won't be a faker by saying I suddenly think MS should become a TV producer...MSNBC is quite enough :|

My only point is that apparently letting the whole team go is rash and drastic. Maybe they weren't let go, maybe they were re-assigned, I don't know. But as someone who knows the uncertainty of gainful employment in this day and age, I can relate. Especially since MS were so keen on TV production until literally a few days ago.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That could well be and won't be a faker by saying I suddenly think MS should become a TV producer...MSNBC is quite enough :|

My only point is that apparently letting the whole team go is rash and drastic. Maybe they weren't let go, maybe they were re-assigned, I don't know. But as someone who knows the uncertainty of gainful employment in this day and age, I can relate. Especially since MS were so keen on TV production until literally a few days ago.

It is certainly not fun to have to abandon a project that you believed in and it really sucks to affect so many people in the process, but sometimes situations warrant change.

I'm just someone on the outside, a consumer. All I know is that MS was getting into an area I was excited to see them work in: original content

Unfortunately, I have no clue about the inner workings of the group, so I'm not qualified to tell them what they should have done. The news about the issues brewing did not sound promising though. If MS could not get enough content creators on board, then the project was doomed to failure.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here are the previously 'Committed Projects' from Xbox Entertainment Studios (Xbox Originals)

?Halo? television series

The ?Halo? television series is a groundbreaking original series based on the award-winning ?Halo? franchise. Award-winning filmmaker, director and producer Steven Spielberg will executive produce the live-action TV series, created in partnership with 343 Industries and Amblin Television.

?Every Street United?

?Every Street United? is an unscripted series of eight, thirty-minute episodes and a one-hour finale, featuring legendary soccer players Thierry Henry and Edgar Davids, focused on the global search for soccer?s most gifted and undiscovered street stars scouted across eight countries (United States, England, Argentina, Spain, Brazil, the Netherlands, Ghana and South Korea). The series culminates this July in a 4v4 street game finale in the shadow of the World Cup in Rio de Janeiro.

Each episode will feature unique and incisive narratives about the grassroots street stars and the communities that shaped them. Industry veteran and eight-time Emmy-Award winning producer, director, writer and editor Jonathan Hock (?Streetball,? ?30 for 30: The Best That Never Was?) is directing the series. Emmy-Award winning producer Mike Tollin and Mandalay Sports Media are executive producing. Professional soccer luminaries, Henry and Davids, will serve as coaches for the 4v4 street game in Rio. ?Every Street United? will premiere in June 2014. All episodes will be available through Xbox Video for Xbox One, Xbox 360, Windows 8 (PC and Surface) and Windows Phone 8.

Bonnaroo

Xbox owners around the globe can experience the magic of the 13th annual Bonnaroo music and arts festival with a live concert destination on Xbox Live Friday, June 13 through Sunday, June 15, 2014, brought to viewers in partnership with Superfly Presents. With the Bonnaroo app, fans can enjoy live music like never before, with a virtual experience featuring the best performances, multiple stages, biggest artists and amazing SuperJams, and explore this year?s lineup to see the best of Bonnaroo?s past with exclusive performances. Fans can also join the conversation with fellow virtual-Bonnaroovians and get connected to their friends and the festival. Xbox is the exclusive broadcasting partner for Bonnaroo and the only location to get all of the interactive features.

?Signal to Noise?/?Atari: Game Over?

Xbox is creating a new six film documentary series, ?Signal to Noise,? (working title) with two-time Academy Award winning producer Simon Chinn (?Searching for Sugar Man? and ?Man on Wire?) and Emmy winning producer Jonathan Chinn (FX?s ?30 Days? and PBS?s ?American High?), through their multi-platform media company, Lightbox. The series will expose little known stories of how modern technology has radically altered the way we interact with our world.

The first installment, ?Atari: Game Over? (working title), explores the fabled Atari mystery, dubbed ?The Great Video Game Burial of 1983.? As the legend goes, the Atari Corporation, faced with overwhelmingly negative response to the E.T. video game, disposed of millions of unsold game cartridges by burying them in the small town of Alamogordo, New Mexico. Fuel Entertainment took an interest in the legend, and in December 2013, with help from local garbage contractor Joe Lewandowski, acquired the exclusive rights to excavate the Alamogordo landfill. Fuel Entertainment then brought the opportunity to Xbox Entertainment Studios. The team will head to the landfill in question to determine if the story is true, interviewing a cast of characters related to the game and its mystery along the way. ?Atari: Game Over? is directed by writer/director Zak Penn (?X-Men 2,? ?Avengers,? and ?Incident at Loch Ness?). It will air exclusively on Xbox One and Xbox 360 in 2014.

?Humans?

?Humans? is a bold new drama co-produced with UK broadcaster Channel 4. Award-winning UK production company Kudos (?The Hour,? ?Utopia,? ?Broadchurch?) will produce the hour-long, eight-episode series, which will share a premiere broadcast window on the Xbox platform and Channel 4 in the UK in 2015.

Executive produced by Jane Featherstone (?Life on Mars,? ?Broadchurch?) and Derek Wax (?The Hour,? ?Sex Traffic?), and written by British writing team Sam Vincent and Jonathan Brackley (?Spooks,? ?Spooks: The Greater Good?), ?Humans? is an English-language adaptation of Sveriges Television and Matador Film?s acclaimed Swedish series, ?Real Humans.? ?Humans? is set in a parallel present where the latest must-have gadget for any busy family is a ?Synth? ? a highly-developed robotic servant eerily similar to its live counterpart. In the hope of transforming the way they live, one strained suburban family purchases a refurbished synth only to discover that sharing life with a machine has far-reaching and chilling consequences. Casting for ?Humans? will begin in May 2014, and production will commence later this summer.

?Halo? digital feature

343 Industries and Scott Free Productions are creating a "Halo" digital feature to be released later this year. The project will be executive produced by Ridley Scott and Scott Free TV President, David Zucker. Sergio Mimica-Gezzan ("Battlestar Galactica," "Pillars of the Earth," "Heroes") will direct.

Projects in Development

?Deadlands?

Xbox Entertainment Studios has committed to a script based on the successful pen-and-paper role playing game created by Shane Lacy Hensley. ?Deadlands? is a genre-bending alternative history of the Weird West, filled with undead gunfighters, card-slinging sorcerers, mad scientists, secret societies, and fearsome abominations.

?Extraordinary Believers?

Xbox Entertainment Studios is developing an innovative, hybrid stop-motion show dubbed ?Extraordinary Believers? (working title) with Stoopid Buddy Stoodios, creators of the Emmy-Award winning ?Robot Chicken,? the longest running stop-motion show on television. The executive producers on the project are Seth Green, Matt Senreich, and creators/writers/executive producers are Eric Towner and John Harvatine IV.

?Fearless?

?Fearless,? (working title) is an unscripted series currently in pilot production starring Paul de Gelder, an Australian Navy bomb clearance diver and shark attack survivor who takes on an adrenaline-fueled quest to aid individuals who risk their lives to make the world a better place. ?Fearless? will be produced by Australia?s International Emmy-Award winning production company, Cordell Jigsaw Zapruder (CJZ).

?Gun Machine?

Xbox Entertainment Studios acquired the rights to ?Gun Machine,? a hardboiled detective thriller based on the New York Times bestselling novel by Warren Ellis. Ellis will executive produce with Brett Conrad (?The Killing,? ?Sons of Anarchy,? Netflix?s upcoming ?Marco Polo?) who has signed on to write the pilot script about a detective tracking a serial killer who is tied to a mysterious collection of guns used in infamous New York murders.

Untitled JASH Comedy/Variety Half Hour

In this unique comedy format developed by Xbox Entertainment Studios with JASH (a comedy collective founded by Sarah Silverman, Michael Cera, Tim and Eric and Reggie Watts), the biggest names in comedy will showcase the people that make them laugh. Each week, a different comedian will host/curate a show featuring new and unsung talent, in various video formats. Sarah Silverman will host the pilot episode and Daniel Kellison (?Late Night/Late Show with David Letterman,? ?Jimmy Kimmel Live,? ?Crank Yankers?) will executive produce. The series has a pilot commitment and will begin shooting in June.

?Winterworld?

Xbox Entertainment Studios and IDW Entertainment are co-developing a limited event live-action series based on Chuck Dixon and artist Jorge Zaffino?s seminal graphic novel series ?Winterworld,? in which our world has been encased in ice from pole-to-pole. The surviving humans have formed tribes that war, enslave and trade with one another in an effort to survive the infinite winter. Ted Adams and David Ozer from IDW Entertainment, and Rick Jacobs and Dave Alpert from Circle of Confusion (?Walking Dead?) will executive produce.

 

-----

 

Apart from the Halo tv series & movie(digital feature) everything else I have zero interest in. I don't even like the game but I like the storyline and think it would make a good tv show (or even a movie).

So Microsoft shutting down the studio isn't really a big deal to me.. Minus the halo series I dont think any of the other planned projects would have had much success.

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

And you'll notice like I commented before. Most of those are made by third party studios for MS and not in their tiny 200 man basement studio.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

And you'll notice like I commented before. Most of those are made by third party studios for MS and not in their tiny 200 man basement studio.

 

while this is true.  I'm sure getting a helping hand from Microsoft's XES could have resulted in better film quality.  MS does have the deep pockets to get better cameras, better actors and such.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.