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Microsoft Studios site removes 5 more studios

Logos for Lionhead Studios and Press Play Studios have both been removed from the Microsoft Studios website following yesterday's announcement that both are set to close. But that's not all.

A further five studios and the Project Spark logo were also removed from the website last night, including Kinect Joy Ride developer BigPark, along with Function Studios, Good Science, LXP and SOTA.

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FasterThanFTL1952d ago

Looks like Microsoft is serious about quality. Almost all the studios being closed were making no games I was interested in. So no loss from a consumer point of view.

Snookies12952d ago

No games 'you' were interested in. Key word there, others might have been and it's a loss to them.

Elwenil952d ago (Edited 952d ago )

Very true but on the other hand, do we as gamers really want sub-par games? Naturally there is no accounting for tastes, but if Microsoft as the publisher felt they were not making quality games, it may be better that they were closed down.

The flip side is it's definitely a sad thing for the employees themselves and I hope they can all move on to bigger and better things but from a business standpoint as well as a value for gamers, this may be the best thing in the end.

GameNameFame952d ago

@Elwenil

Comeon man. THat is the most desperate damage control I've heard.

Really? No one is forcing bad game down anyone throat and it is not like MS is protecting you. Not to mention the fact that there are tester gamers who helps game retain quality.

Quit damage controlling... Past few weeks have been crazy.

-MS gives away Xbox exclusives:
Fans spin losing exclusive as good thing.
-MS mentions converting Xbox into PC steambox:
Everything fan didnt like about PC is like best thing ever.
-MS closes studios down:
Fans spin into MS protecting gamers from bad quality games.

mikeslemonade952d ago

Toughest 2 weeks for a Xbox supporter

Griever952d ago (Edited 952d ago )

Is Xbox One finally Xbox Done?? Games are delayed more than a whole year. Many of those stated to be releasing this year do not have release dates or even gameplay videos. Most former exclusives heading to PC. Executives talk about releasing upgradeable consoles and essentially turning it into a service. First party studios closing and big-name exclusive game cancelled. Phantom Dust cancelled. Lionhead Studios producer calling them "destroyer of first party."

What is next? Seas of Thieves cancelled? Recore cancelled? We still havent seen Crackdown 3 running on an Xbox One even though it is supposedly releasing this summer. Nobody has seen the single player campiagn that will supposedly released later. It looks like the end for Xbox once they release or cancel all the games currently in development.

miyamoto952d ago

Yes, that is a lot of studios that disappeared.

Overload952d ago (Edited 952d ago )

@Elwenil

Microsoft owns the IP's for Lost Oddessy, Jade Empire, PGR, Conker and Crimson Skies and spent 400 million on an NFL deal.

Who made the deal between Xbox One and the NFL? Phil Spencer.

4Sh0w952d ago (Edited 952d ago )

Seems Microsoft is trimming some fat today. Although I read in the comments from the tweet that this may be re-branding of some of those studios, perhaps merging a few together but other than Lionhead with Fable Legends I'm not going to make much of studios like "Good Science" closing when there's really not a body of work we've played or known games were looking forward to. -Anyone know of any past or present game from any of these 8 studios???...any names of cancelled games from them??? Either way I hope all the good folks get offers to stay employed elsewhere.

-Edit, ahhh just read most of these studios are Kinect related, makes more sense now.

Overload you do know that Microsoft is a huge company that makes a pc/tablet line called Surface Pro, that deal involves a full NFL ad campaign with Surface Pros used during pregame analysis, halftime, etc and by coaches during every NFL game...or are you suggesting a mega billion dollar corporation should ONLY pour all their resources into gaming?, lol

sonarus952d ago

To me this is just Microsoft doing a little belt tightening. I remember Sony had to shut down some studios after the Ps3 faltered out of the gate. They had to trim the fat big time. Microsoft is probably doing the same thing. Makes no sense to invest heavy in first party studios if no confidence that the sales will make the venture worthwhile. Makes sense to shut some down to refocus resources where they could matter.
Just speculating though

LostDjinn952d ago

It's common knowledge the in order to diversify your software lineup you need to diminish your talent pool. How else or they going to show gamers they care?

Nasty "oversight" there snookie. *smh*

BG11579952d ago (Edited 952d ago )

@4sh0w If they continue to trimming the fat like this, they end up trimming the Xbox one to.
You know, going to PC and all of that...
For their next console they are already trimming the console cycle for the hardware, for the one year cycle like the smartphone...

Elwenil952d ago

@NameGameFame,

Check my comments, pal. I don't even own an Xbox. Never have, never will. But the facts remain that with a lot of the less than stellar games coming out these days at full price with all sorts of promises, if publishers shut down under-performing studios, I have no issues with it other than the impact on the employees, which is a sad but necessary fact of life. I was not happy when Sony shut down Zipper, but considering MAG's issues and SOCOM 4 being a complete bomb, yeah, it was time for them to go. Not all games can be hits and even if fans and devs love an IP, it takes more than love to make money and that is what the publishers are in the business for.

rainslacker952d ago

I can think of quite a few games which many would consider sub-par that I quite enjoy.

AngelicIceDiamond952d ago

@Griever "Games are delayed more than a whole year."

That means nothing games get delayed all the time.

"Most former exclusives heading to PC."

That MS PLANNED all along not bad news.

"Phantom Dust cancelled."

Of all ppl I know all about Phantom Dust and its not cancelled. Though realistically I wouldn't be surprised if it did.

"We still havent seen Crackdown 3 running on an Xbox One even though it is supposedly releasing this summer."

The beta's coming this summer and will probably release late summer We have to wait till E3 for details.

Those other games Im sure are safe MS would have to be out of their minds to get rid of the rest of their line up, I mean obviously.

Had to correct you on some points.

Why o why952d ago (Edited 952d ago )

Next up

Halo on playstation

More gamers get to play and ms gets more money right. .......

I say this because from what I hear on here, exclusives don't matter and it's selfish not to want other people to play the same game.

WelkinCole952d ago

Its funny how fast xbox fans sh!t on these devs.

I can remember most of them put these studios on their list to compete with Sony first party list and were touting them.

Now its just MS trimming the fat lol!

AngelicIceDiamond952d ago

Hate this news and gets me very worried about future games on X1.

But there's no way N4G gonna try and tell me about Phantom Dust. Yall gonna believe Griever a guy who knows little about Phantom Dust when PD is my most favored game of all time so clearly I keep up with it. No the game is not cancelled trust me I know better. If theres anyone to believe on that its me or anyone else who actually follows the game closely.

Everything I said was fair, rational and level headed so its not me I checked my facts. But all the fanboys are getting a kick out of the news. Upvote the fanboy comments no matter how dumb they are, Of course you guys will do just that. Since that's the case no point in arguing since Im a get smothered down anyway I'm right you guys are wrong and there's nothing nobody can say or do about it ( :

AngelicIceDiamond952d ago

@Why Well PC isn't the same as PS4 when it comes to overall appeal or popularity. Halo going to PS4 will change the gamingscape forever if it went to PC it would be a big deal but not the same as if it were on PS4 not nearly the same actually. Everything you said only applies to PC WIN10 specifically MS own software not another competing console so that doesnt make sense.

But ppl will swear that I'm "wrong" somehow though watch lol.

Why o why951d ago (Edited 951d ago )

im just having a sly dig Angelic. I know the differences but despite that, MS would gain more money if they put all their exclusives on playstation. Many seem to think games going to pc won't affect the x1 so why couldn't the same apply to them being on ps too

Ezz2013951d ago (Edited 951d ago )

@rdgneoz3
**"" They got rid of 8 studios and never told anyone until the last moment pretty much... Twitter mentioned people being in a meeting being told what was happening as the article went up...
Hell, a Lionhead community manager just 5 hours before the announcement was talking about how they were going over feedback and trying to make the best game possible.
https://twitter.com/VG_Dave... **

Wow, that sucks

I don't understand how some xbox fans are saying Microsoft is trimming some fat or getting rid of "bad" studios or whatever excuse they will come up with.

8 studios closed and ppl losing their jobs...that's sucks
no matter how much you spin this and not a good sign at all.

bouzebbal951d ago Show
kickerz951d ago

You know what I find really weird, 90% of the people in this thread are Sony guys just looking to have a dig at Microsoft. It's so lame. As an Xbox gamer, yes I'm slightly disappointed in Fable legends but that's it. Theses other studios were mostly making Kinect games which I'm sure none of us Xbox guys are gonna lose sleep over. It's sad theses developers won't have jobs, but I wish them all the best, they may even end up in a better studio. I have never seen so much over reaction in my life.

Griever951d ago (Edited 951d ago )

@ people calling this trimming

Sony was in financial trouble with years of losses and potentially its survival at stake so they had to resort to extreme measures. What kind of trouble is MS in that they have close so many studios, cancel games and think about adopting smartphone model for Xbox? Xbox fanboys always boasted the infinitely deep pockets and massive profits of MS compared to Sony. We clearly know they are not in financial trouble so the only other explanation is they are getting out of the home console industry or at least the traditional home console industry.

@AngelicIceDiamond

Look at the gif posted by Cupid Viper. That is what is going on with Xbox fans right now. They are just refusing to acknowledge what is unfolding before their eyes.

G20WLY951d ago

Sure, there are game cancellations here and gamers lose out. But the biggest loss here is to the employees.

This is crazy, it's like Xbox is imploding before our very eyes.

I just hope those employees manage to come out of this alright in the end and move on to bigger, better things. I'm sure they will.

Volkama951d ago (Edited 951d ago )

@Why o why I don't think MS are really in it to sell games OR hardware, which might initially sound odd but makes sense when you think about it.

Their ultimate goal in publishing is to sit back and make money off of the work of others. They primarily make games to build up a closed ecosystem (The Xbox platform, the Windows store). Once they have that, they get to syphon money from everyone else that wants to publish games there.

You only need to look at what they did with the 360 to confirm that part of their strategy.

That might make them sound nefarious, but it's really a core concept of the console gaming industry, and consumer software industry in general (see Apple).

Personally I'd love to see all exclusive games spread across consumer-friendly open platforms, but it's catch 22. Platform holders wouldn't be injecting the cash to make these AAA games at all if they weren't trying to build up these closed ecosystems.

alvgamin4lif951d ago (Edited 951d ago )

@AngelicIceDiamond

I'll agree with you that games getting delayed aren't that big of a deal since It's kind of like the norm for games to get delayed nowadays. As a matter of fact I can't remember a single recent AAA game that didn't get delayed.

However I have to disagree with you here,
""Most former exclusives heading to PC."

That MS PLANNED all along not bad news."

First of all MS focusing on pc from the start is pr and it's quite recent pr as a matter of fact. Let me give you a real example here, have you heard of the kickstarter unsung story? The devs (lead by the producer of final fantasy tactics, I believe?) promised a game in the veins of fft. However approximately a year later they send of an update informing backer that pvp will start in june 2016. They never talked about a multiplayer in this game and when questioned they said that multiplayer was the plan all along. From the very beginning. Sounds familiar?

Secondly MS losing exclusives isn't a good thing...no wait let me rephrase that, xbox1 losing exclusives isn't a good thing. It's a win-win scenario for MS as people might purchase their games on xbox1 or pc however the lack of exclusives devalues a console. Why should I go for a xbox1 when I can use that money towards a gaming laptop (or desktop for people who doesn't play games on laptops)? If all or most exclusives end up on pc then people might as well pick up a ps4 and a pc (or a wii u if they don't like sony exclusives and only care for the multiplatform games). Exclusives define a console. I might pick up a xbox1 because I love the simplicity of console gaming but do I represent the entire gaming community?

EDIT: I changed "will" with "might". I have to wait and hear about MS plans for xbox before making a purchase.

alvgamin4lif951d ago

@AngelicIceDiamond

You're right about games getting delayed all the time.
You're right about the fact that PD isn't cancelled (It's in a dormant stage for now).
You're right about the fact that we need to wait and see carckdown 3 before we judge it.
However you're wrong about MS's plan for xbox and that fact that losing exclusives is a good thing.

"I'm right you guys are wrong and there's nothing nobody can say or do about it ( :" - a bit childish attitude here :)
I can only point out whether you're right or not and to point out you're wrongs as well. What more did you expect?

Septic951d ago

@Welkin
"I can remember most of them put these studios on their list to compete with Sony first party list and were touting them. "

Really?

"including Kinect Joy Ride developer BigPark, along with Function Studios, Good Science, LXP and SOTA."

These devs appeared on which lists?

TFJWM951d ago

@Septic Yes even those studios were on some lists. I remember people putting lists with every single MS studio when trying to compare their first party vs Sony first party

Kingthrash360951d ago

Can't belive people still are ignoring this.
Something clearly is happening and it's not looking good for the future of xbox as a console.
Like it or not this is how bowing out of the competition looks.
Cancelling putting big exclusives on pc, fable cancelling, now this.
Wake up.

mark_parch951d ago

@abzdiine

not many people were happy about fable legends most people made it quite clear they wanted fable 4. gutted for all the people at lionhead though the game looked beautiful

Yetter951d ago

Other than lionhead/Fable, please tell me the name of one game that any one of these studios has released, or is working on

kickerz951d ago

So let me get this straight ... If Sony trims down some studios it's no biggie, but if Microsoft trims down some studios (mostly Kinect studios) it's the end of Microsoft, they're doooooomed... Just not seeing the logic here hey.

Septic951d ago (Edited 951d ago )

@mark_parch

"@abzdiine

not many people were happy about fable legends most people made it quite clear they wanted fable 4. "

Yeah precisely but people like to pretend don't they? Disingenuous and uninformed people aside, it is hardly felt as a big loss...unless of course you desperately want to make a point about it. Mind you, I've seen the same people believe its some sort of downplaying when they themselves thought Fable Legends looked poor. And these same people liked knack and the order and think there was a media conspiracy against them lol.

Its not a good thing having a studio shut down of course...but it was shut for a reason and if the quality isnt up tp scratch you don't want a rushed, u unfinished and poor game on your hands. We have seen a few examples of those this gen

_-EDMIX-_951d ago

@Overload- MS doesn't own the Jade Empire IP, Bioware does. MS was simply publishing their game like they published Mass Effect.

EA bought the IP of Mass Effect from Bioware, not MS as Bioware owned the IP to Mass Effect, Mass Effect etc, MS never owned an IP from Bioware.

cheetah951d ago

In the business world, this is what you do when you plan on selling the company. Cut the fat, and make it look as lean as possible to buyers. Watch this space, the XBOX brand will be sold by MS very soon. It's over.

bouzebbal951d ago (Edited 951d ago )

@Septic:
Everytime fanboys like christolus and others bring up x1 list of exclusives Fable Legends is among these.
Fable Legends not being a big deal all of a sudden is hypocritical.
And here we go with Knack again.. i like it.....because i PLAYED it.

+ Show (34) more repliesLast reply 951d ago
Overload952d ago

That is the craziest spin possible at the possibility of Microsoft losing 8 studios.

TheBurger29952d ago

Next week we might see an article of sony picking up 8 new studios.

Bigpappy952d ago

They didn't loose any studios. They got rid of 8 studios

rdgneoz3952d ago

@Bigpappy They got rid of 8 studios and never told anyone until the last moment pretty much... Twitter mentioned people being in a meeting being told what was happening as the article went up...

Hell, a Lionhead community manager just 5 hours before the announcement was talking about how they were going over feedback and trying to make the best game possible.
https://twitter.com/VG_Dave...

Overall, hopefully those people find jobs. Not fun getting fired without notice and having a family to feed.

TheCommentator951d ago

I think we should just wait and see what all of these recent changes mean for XB1 before jumping to conclusions.

For all we know, MS could be ditching the studios that aren't profitable in favor of spending the money on new IP that people have been asking for. Hell, some of these studios were Kinect devs, so why keep them around anyways? What we do know is MS already has unannounced IP in development, but does anyone here know how many, or who's developing them? Will MS use the available resources from these closures to buy Remedy or other studios to broaden their portfolio of 1st party devs?

We can all speculate, but too many people around here are blowing things out of proportion based around assumptions IMO.

rainslacker951d ago (Edited 951d ago )

@TheCOmmentator

While certainly possible that MS is making new studios, or something akin to WWS like Sony has, it seems that just closing down so many studios, regardless of their stature, and not stating such a plan going forward is rather dumb from a PR point of view.

All the negativity they have right now could be lessened if they just said those people were being reassigned, or they were restructuring their corporate model. Or maybe not....Most of Sony announcement about studio closures was accompanied by such statements and most people ignored that little tidbit.

I think the biggest problem facing XBox/MS right now, at least from a public relations point of view, is they seem to have no clear plan of how they are moving forward. MS as a whole seems to have a clear plan with all the one platform/Windows stuff, but the Xbox brand just seems to be in this kind of obfuscated limbo of PR jargon and feel good hyperbole from it's executives. Those kinds of things tend to compound over time, and I think the last couple weeks just was the tipping point where people really start to see that something more is happening with the Xbox brand than what meets the eye.

That being said, just because these studios focused on Kinect games, doesn't mean they didn't have the skill to make more expansive games. It takes a lot of money to close a studio(wierd premise I know), and it takes a lot more to open a new one, not to mention how time consuming it is to open a new studio/studios. If MS plans to open new studios, then it'll be about a year before they begin production on games, whereas these other studios could have been restructured into AAA class developers with nothing more than hiring some more staff and setting up the internal infrastructure

TheCommentator951d ago

I understand your point about the financial burdens associated with closing and opening studios, Rain. It is entirely possible, however, that there are 3rd party studios like Remedy that MS would rather buy than continue to spend money on studios that aren't made up of people MS believes can put out the quality necessary to be successful. Sometimes it's better to cut losses and start over.

Maybe GDC or E3 will shed some light on what MS intends, but I agree that there's a lot of negativity that could have been reduced with the insertion of news about new studios or IP. Let's face it though, MS has never been known to be very tactful when it comes to releasing information, lol.

+ Show (3) more repliesLast reply 951d ago
GameDev1952d ago

Way to spin it this situation my good man, such positivity

Has nothing to do with quality, more to do with software that sells more to the Xbox fanbase

lelo2play952d ago

What the hell is happening with Microsoft? Are they broke or something?

At this moment I wouldn't be surprised if Microsoft closed down Mojang.

MannGamer951d ago

Not possible, this is Microsoft we are talking about, the company make a shit ton of money. They make so much money that Xbox Fan says loosing some in the Xbox division would not hurt them at all and that they will keep investing on Xbox because they have the money for that.

952d ago Replies(7)
S2Killinit952d ago

Nice damage control there.
I wonder if this is MS's first move toward turning xbox into a steam machine? What is going on with closing studios of late??

Darkfist952d ago

lol, if thats the case then they should close Rare since they didnt make any good quality games

Riseer952d ago

Yea Crackdown 3 is suspect

rainslacker952d ago

Hate to hate on CD3, but seriously, the 2nd game wasn't that great. First one was pretty decent. All three were/are developed by different studios with lackluster releases in their portfolio. So if quality is an issue that causes games to get cancelled and studios shut down, CD3 isn't safe.

Something to ponder since not much has been shown of CD3 and it's less than stellar critical reception history. Most of the hype around CD3 seems to be around it's destructible environments and cloud, yet the game play I've seen hardly any mention of.

MasterCornholio952d ago

Why does this remind me of Phil Spencer's 1st class citizen comment?

WelkinCole952d ago

So it is the fault of these 8 studios that they suck?.

MS and how they treat their devs like Bungie do not get any of the blame?.

Yeah sure.

mEATgrinder952d ago

Yeah, this is all about Microsofts resergence, either get on board or go

Tsunade951d ago Show
951d ago
Relientk77951d ago

I feel really bad for these studios and developers. They don't deserve this

CartBlanche951d ago

It is a MASSIVE loss for consumers! They basically removed all the studios that gave the Xbox One the little diversity of games it so badly needed to get gamers of ALL types onto the console.
All the studios left are dude Bro shooters and Car sims.

Rare being the only possible exception. Can Rare really churn out a diverse selection of tastes for gamers who don't like Gears of War, Halo and Forza? I very much doubt it.

The other studios can't just keep churning out sequels, as console owners want original IPs at some point.

More nails in the console's coffin. Might as well switch to PCs as this ship is sinking fast.

jojo319951d ago

Why is everybody forgetting that it's outpacing the 360?? Just because it's a distant second to Sony, does NOT mean they are losing money. BOTH companies are selling more. The "Pie" is MUCH bigger than it used to be. If these "Xbox is dead" people had their way, all other car manufacturers other than number one are "failing". It's a joke.

CartBlanche951d ago

@jojo if it was the success Microsoft expected it to be.
1. we would know official sales numbers for the console.
2. The Xbox One would actually have console exclusives rather than multi-platforms.
3. They would not be shutting down 8 game studios as there would be demand for all the games.
4. They would not be talking about an upgradable console when they messed up by releasing an under powered machine in the first place.
5. They would be investing in new AAA IPs for their "fastest" selling console.

Do you need more reasons??

IamTylerDurden1951d ago

Yet, so many xb1 fans were claiming to have enjoyed the beta.

Ppl loved it when they thought it was releasing, and now those same ppl are praising ms for axing a "bad game" and protecting the innocents.

sdcard4gb951d ago

Duuuude... That's... The highest "Disagree" count I've seen on this site :O
Rightfully so, if I may add.

FN4GM951d ago

Well thats one way to spin Microsoft having to close studios and people losing their jobs.

AizenSosuke951d ago

Microsoft I thought they lost 8 studios not 5 but input error on there part, and there's trimming fat and then trimming muscle which can be a dangerous game.

TheTwelve951d ago

Wow, may reality land upon your face soon.

agame914951d ago

Wow you seriously must not care about games

Apollosupreme951d ago (Edited 951d ago )

More like they're hurting financially and needed to make slashes. Companies don't toss out assets and sunken costs like this when they have the flexibility of a gaming business. Devs can always be redirected to new projects researched to be good investments. Instead they opt to toss these studios in the trash.

Christopher951d ago

Just to note: Some of these could be a part of reorganization and not necessarily closing of studios. Perhaps 3 studios working on Hololens get folded under one studio.

_-EDMIX-_951d ago

Despite the massive disagrees, I agree with you. How much software where those teams even pushing though?

I know folks like games and all and its subjective, but based on pure business...if it isn't moving large enough units to justify operation cost, why keep it?

I believe gamers want good games above all else and if MS felt the team wasn't making good enough games, they are correct to go this route.

I mean...if those games were moving massive units, they would not be getting rid of those teams in the first place.

JMyers951d ago

Wow... so they are closing studios because they are serious about quality? If this was the case they would support the games and studios by investing in quality testing... not shutting them down. Extremely deluded point of view

frostypants951d ago

"The Titanic isn't sinking! It's just unloading excess air."

Realms949d ago

MS has no direction when it comes to X1 unless they are planning a full force push on PC next gen. All the other moves they are making are puzzling to me as far as their console presence is concerned it should be troubling if you own an X1. Fanboys are rejoicing I frankly don't care but it's interesting to see the MS strategy moving forward.