Microsoft announced yesterday that it will be retrenching around 18 000 staff members as part of a large-scale “reorganising” strategy. The move comes a couple of months after Microsoft took over Nokia, and a number of the positions have been made redundant between the two entities.

The majority of the layoffs will be Finnish Nokia staff, but Xbox head Phil Spencer yesterday added that Xbox Entertainment Studios (XES) would also be closing its doors as a result.

“We plan to streamline a handful of portfolio and engineering development efforts across Xbox. One such plan is that, in the coming months, we expect to close Xbox Entertainment Studios,” Spencer said in a statement to staff members.

While the closure is sad news for the industry, Halo fans won’t be left without game franchise Halo: Nightfall; the Spielberg-produced Halo TV series; and the documentary Signal to Noise, as all of these will still be made. The main priority of XES was to produce original video content for the Xbox platform.

“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,” Spencer added.

Charlie started his professional life as a motoring journalist for a community newspaper in Mpumalanga, Charlie explored different journalistic angles since his entry into the fast-paced world of publishing in 2006. While fostering a passion for the arts, Charlie developed a love for technology – both which allowed him to serve as Entertainment and Technology Editor for an online publication. Charlie has since been heavily involved in consumer technology for various websites and publications. He thoroughly enjoys World War II films and cerebral documentaries; aviation; photography and indie music. Oh yes, and he also has a rather strange obsession with collecting coffee mugs from his travels.