Microsoft has decided that its recently released flight simulator-style game, Microsoft Flight, is no more as they officially cancelled any further development on the title. They also decided to layoff and potentially reassign a portion of the staff at their Vancouver office of Microsoft Studios, totaling 35 people that worked on the Microsoft Flight as well as another cancelled project called Project Columbia for Kinect.
Microsoft released this statement about the cancellations and lay-offs.
Microsoft Studios has decided to end development on Microsoft Flight and Project Columbia. As a result of this action, some positions within the development teams have been eliminated. Microsoft human resources is working with the affected individuals to find new roles within the company.
Microsoft Studios is always evaluating its portfolio of products to determine what is best for gamers, families and the company, and this decision was the result of the natural ebb and flow of our portfolio management. Many factors were considered in the difficult decision to stop development on Microsoft Flight and Project Columbia, but we feel it will help us better align with our long-term goals and development plans. For Microsoft Flight,we will continue to support the community that has embraced the title and the game will still be available to download for free at http://www.microsoft.com/games/flight/.
Microsoft Studios is invested in British Columbia and still has several teams, both in Vancouver and Victoria, which will continue to produce the best entertainment and gaming experiences possible.
It's always sad to see layoffs in the gaming industry, however we're not surprised the relatively poor, free sequel to Flight Simulator X was cancelled. As Microsoft stated, Microsoft Flight will still be available for free for those interested.