Remember Microsoft‘s massive $1 billion injection of capital into Xbox One development? You know, the effort that will result in 15 Xbox One exclusives in the console’s first year? As if that goal isn’t challenging enough, Microsoft has revealed that its recently-established development studio in Victoria, British Columbia will be closing its doors.
Though a seemingly odd choice considering Microsoft’s lofty end-of-year development plans, a spokesperson said the decision was far from easy.
This was not an easy decision, but one guided by our desire to centralize development in our Vancouver studios. We are working closely with all employees affected by this change to identify open positions in other studios, and we remain committed to doing business in British Columbia.
Microsoft went on to say that approximately 30 employees are affected, and as mentioned, each will be relocated and sent to other Microsoft studios as needed. When talking to Polygon about the news, Microsoft assured them that the recent closure would not affect any games currently in development, again reiterating that the decision is nothing more than a centralization effort.
We did not cancel any projects. Rather, we centralized our development efforts in BC to our Vancouver offices.
Frankly, the whole thing seems rather odd to me. Does centralization really help when the groups being merged are working on different projects entirely? On the other hand, there could be overlap – I’m sure many of the games in Microsoft‘s pipeline use Kinect, and for all I know they could share game engines or even assets in some circumstances. For now, the best we can do is trust the software and hardware giant to deliver on its promises – or, you know, just forego Xbox One early adopter-ism entirely.