Microsoft closes Vancouver studio [Update 2: still open]
posted on 07.25.12 at 09:37 PM EST by (@salromano)
35 developers out of work in Canada. (Hire them!)

Microsoft is shutting down its Vancouver studio, according to a Kotaku report. The developer was at work on a core shooter for Kinect.

Several former employees of the studio took to Twitter to confirm the developer’s demise. Additionally, a Facebook page dedicated to innovation in Vancouver wrote on its wall: “We’ve just gotten word that the entire studio at Microsoft Games Studios on 840 Cambie has been laid off. 35 people in total. This is nuts. We’ll update with more when we can.”

We wish them all the best in getting back on their feet. That’s two shots of bad news for Vancouver devs witin the past week.

Update 7.26 / 12:47 a.m.: According to Superannuation (1, 2, 3), the shooter is a new space IP on the scale of Gears of War and Halo. It dropped the Kinect support “a while back” and was moved to next-gen. Despite the studio’s closure, the game is still in development.

Update 7.26 / 8:13 a.m.: Microsoft has said it has not closed its Vancouver studio, but has canceled two projects: flight simulator Microsoft Flight and Kinect interactive TV project Project Columbia. Microsoft did not comment on how many of the studio’s staff were laid off. Find their official statement below.

“Microsoft Studios is always evaluating its portfolio of products to determine what is best for gamers, families and the company, and this decision was the result of the natural ebb and flow of our portfolio management. Many factors were considered in the difficult decision to stop development on “Microsoft Flight” and “Project Columbia,” but we feel it will help us better align with our long-term goals and development plans. For “Microsoft Flight,” we will continue to support the community that has embraced the title and the game will still be available to download for free at http://www.microsoft.com/games/flight/.”

  • rockman29

    Like I keep saying… studios in Canada and USA, move to Ontario. They are literally paying your taxes publishers.

    • KingKellogg The Waffle Haggler

      How so?

      • rockman29

        Read the news. They have a deal with the government to pay part of their taxes in Ontario.

        People must really get rattled by me here, why the downvotes? L2R the news foos.

        • KingKellogg The Waffle Haggler

          I didnt vote you down :

  • Malcolm Reynolds

    A game studio needs to make actual games to stay in business.

    Those 35 devs could surely find work with one of the plethora of Sony studio’s out there.

    I hope they find work quickly and with a much better company.

    • http://gematsu.com/ Sal Romano

      They were working on an “actual game.” It’s still in development, too (see the update).

      They could also work with one of the plethora of third-party publishers. I wonder why Sony was the first to come to mind.

      You need to stop trolling.

      • Malcolm Reynolds

        Wasnt trolling. Sony has some of the best studios in the biz. Im sorry that upsets you so.
        As for seeing the update: your update came well after my comment.

        In fact, your update solidifies my comment. You yourself acknowledge that until the studio dropped kinect support this wasnt a real game.

        • http://gematsu.com/ Sal Romano

          No. You misunderstand.

          I only refer to the update when I say the game is still in development. Kinect title or not, it’s still a game if you play it.

  • Locksus

    Hey, Sal. Apparently MS did not shut down the studio but cancelled two of their projects which were MS Flight and Project Columbia, a Kinect game for children or something like that. http://kotaku.com/5929141/microsoft-shuts-down-vancouver+based-studio

    • http://gematsu.com/ Sal Romano

      Thanks, Locksus. I’ve updated the post.

      • Malcolm Reynolds

        Bahhhhhhhh so now the cake and this article “is a lie”!

        Darn you Locksus for ruining this headline!!!

        LoL