LOS ANGELES: Microsoft Corp intends to wind down Xbox Entertainment Studios, a source familiar with its plans stated, suiting the first major tech company to pay up on making original.
On Thursday, the production outfit’s impending closure is part of a sweeping restructuring announced by the software giant, which admits the largest single round of layoffs in the company’s near-four-decade history.
The studio, structured in 2012 under then-Chief Executive Officer Steve Ballmer, stated in April it had devoted to several projects, adding “Humans,” a drama co-produced with UK broadcaster Channel 4, and “Halo,” a digital feature based on the best-selling Xbox game.
Microsoft was among several tech companies that raced to include original TV-like content later than the release in February 2013 of Netflix Inc’s “House of Cards,” a political thriller that built buzz for streaming video and earned the first Emmy nominations for a show presented exclusively online.
Amazon.com Inc is preparing to publish a second season of the John Goodman comedy “Alpha House” and two other original series this year for Prime Instant Video.
Hulu is adding to its original productions, which previously add supernatural comedy “Deadbeat” and upcoming reality satire “The Hotwives of Orlando.” Yahoo and Sony Corp also remain in the game and pitched advertisers in the spring on longer- cast shows. Yahoo currently gathered canceled NBC comedy “Community” for another season. And Sony features Jerry Seinfeld in “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee” on its Crackle digital network.