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Microsoft is shuttering Xbox Entertainment Studios, original programming

UPDATE: Remedy's game/TV show hybrid Quantum Break unaffected.

UPDATE 18/7/14 8.20AM: Microsoft has confirmed that part-game, part-TV show Xbox One exclusive Quantum Break will be unaffected by the closure of Xbox Entertainment Studios.

The next title from Alan Wake studio Remedy, Quantum Break is being planned as a multimedia experience, with its story split between gameplay sections and TV episodes.

Quantum Break "will be released next year and the game and show both remain on track," a Microsoft spokesperson told Polygon. "The news of Xbox Entertainment Studios has not impacted our progress and we're excited to share more details of Quantum Break at Gamescom in August."

Early plans for the title suggested that the game's split narrative structure would follow its hero in gameplay sections but then focus on its villains for the accompanying TV series. All TV episodes are expected to ship with the game on its disc.

UPDATE 18/7/14 7.30PM: Microsoft is planning to shut down Xbox Entertainment Studios, the division responsible for creating Xbox-exclusive programming.

Reports of the closure first came out of Variety following the company's announcement that it would be laying off 18,000 staffers, and Microsoft has since confirmed the news to Eurogamer.

"We will expect to close Xbox Entertainment Studios in the coming months," said a Microsoft spokesperson in a statement to Eurogamer.

The good news is that already in production projects like Halo: Nightfall, the Halo TV series, and the Atari documentary Signal to Noise are still happening.

"Nancy Tellem, Jordan Levin and some of the XES team will stay on and remain committed to original programming already in production like the upcoming documentary series 'Signal to Noise' whose first installment takes on the rise and fall of gaming icon Atari and of course, the upcoming game franchise series 'Halo: Nightfall,' and the 'Halo" Television Series which will continue as planned with 343 Industries," the company clarified. "Xbox will continue to support and deliver interactive sports content like 'NFL on Xbox,' and we will continue to enhance our entertainment offering on console by innovating the TV experience through the monthly console updates."

While Xbox-exclusive programming is falling by the wayside, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella is committed to gaming. "As Satya said last week, Xbox is important to Microsoft. Games are the single biggest digital life category in a mobile-first world," the Redmond-based company stated. "And Xbox is a strong consumer brand with an incredible fan base. As part of the planned reduction to our overall workforce announced today and in light of the Xbox vision to focus more on games and gamers, we plan to streamline a handful of portfolio and engineering development efforts across Xbox." Hence the impending closure of Xbox Entertainment Studios.

While Xbox-exclusive programming has declined in importance, third-party providers of content for Microsoft consoles should remain unaffected by these changes. "Our app partnerships with world-class content providers bringing entertainment, sports and TV content to Xbox customers around the world are not impacted by this organisational change in any way and remain an important component of our Xbox strategy."

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