Microsoft closes Vancouver studio [Update 2: still open]

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/.”

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