Remember how Microsoft invested in house-made entertainment as part of the Xbox-as-centre-of-living-room revolution thing? That’s all over.
Nancy Tellem and right hander Jordan Levin have both been let go from Xbox Entertainment Studios.
The news comes via Variety, which reports the pair were let go on Wednesday as part of about 3,000 Microsoft lay-offs.
Although death knells have been ringing over Xbox Entertainment Studios for some time now, Tellem and Levin were said to have expected to stay at Microsoft through the end of the year, giving them time to salvage existing projects.
Tellem joined Microsoft in 2012, and was a very high profile hire. At the time, Microsoft was quite serious about pushing original programming.
However, when new CEO Satya Nadella took over from Steve Ballmer, Microsoft got a major shake up. Xbox Entertainment Studios was one of the casualties.
It’s something of a shame; Tellem seemed to be pretty clued in to gaming, and Microsoft had announced quite lofty plans for the division, but the only projects that came through were the E.T. landfill documentary, Every Street United, Miss Teen USA 2014 and Halo: Nightfall.
Nadella has said Microsoft needs to focus on its core PC software business, hence the layoffs and closures of tangential divisions. It’s a bit of a concern, actually; there’s been some talk of Microsoft’s major investors not being totally pleased with the continued existence of Xbox, which doesn’t bring in the ridiculous cashmoney Windows does.