Microsoft shuts down two Vancouver projects, lays off staff

Reports that publisher has shut down its Vancouver studio, laying off 35 staff in total. [UPDATE] Microsoft says Vancouver operations still active, but two projects have been shut down.

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Microsoft has reportedly shut down its Vancouver game studio, according to a Kotaku report and various Twitter posts from Microsoft Game Studios Vancouver employees.

Microsoft has reportedly shut down its Vancouver studio.

Citing an anonymous tip-off, the Kotaku report pointed to the Facebook page of Vancouver innovation initiative Can We Do It? which reported: "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."

In May last year, it was reported that the Microsoft Vancouver studio was involved in developing a big-budget AAA shooter for the Kinect.

The studio's website is still operational, listing several job openings. The site's opening blurb reads: "MGS Vancouver is building a world-class development team in Vancouver, BC, Canada, dedicated to making games for 'core' gamers."

Earlier this month, Capcom enacted a round of layoffs at its Vancouver studio, while Rockstar announced that it would be moving its Vancouver team to a new studio in Toronto.

[UPDATE] A Microsoft spokesperson told GameSpot the publisher is not shutting down the Vancouver studio completely, but will be stopping development on two projects. According to the spokesperson, the team affected by this move is "small." The full statement reads:

"Microsoft Studios has decided to end development on Microsoft Flight and Project Columbia. As a result of this action, some positions within the development teams have been eliminated. Microsoft human resources is working with the affected individuals to find new roles within the company."

"Microsoft Studios is invested in British Columbia and still has several teams, both in Vancouver and Victoria, which will continue to produce the best entertainment and gaming experiences possible."

Discussion

78 comments
JJMikhail
JJMikhail

I'm glad the effect was little in terms of jobs, good to hear that it's still likely they will have jobs, the last thing anyone wants to hear is bad news, not sure why anyone is jumping on the chance to attack Microsoft - no doubt one of the best companies to hit the market.

 

We should be more thankful, everyone forgot the bit that says Microsoft HR is "working with the affected individuals to find new roles within the company".  At least they are still keeping the jobs in Canada and not shipped off to, er I don't know, China Mr Apple Macintosh!

 

 

zpluffy
zpluffy

kinect is the first camera that recognize environment as 3D. There are a lot of motion sensor cameras but its based on movement recognition etc.. But kinect is the only technology that sees(recognized) environment with depth. The software knows that the person is standing a certain distance and there are objects behind him. Using this, other companies was able to make more sophisticated robots and drones. It is also use to other tech as well. Right now it is far from perfect, but soon it will be more advance and can probably used in computers as a mouse.(as seen in Iron Man)

Zloth2
Zloth2

Wow, look at all the people screaming about Kinect!  Weird, given the article has almost nothing to do with Kinect.

James00715
James00715

Microsoft Flight sure didn't last long hehe. Maybe Microsoft will understand and release a true flight sim now, though these days there are other products available with good third-party support.

x-2tha-z
x-2tha-z

I'm so glad I didn't buy Kinect or Move. I knew they'd be a waste of money. I could see their future before they were released; few games and those that do get released aren't worth playing.

speed45823
speed45823

Should rename to "SEXBOX FREE60™"

midnightclubx
midnightclubx

I feel like I got ripped for getting the Kinect;  there were only two games that made it worth owning, and both are on-rails shooting games (The Gunstringer and CoE); other than that, it seems like the only real use for it is for making it into a research module, or doing silly experiments that Microsoft doesn't want you to do with it, but let's you do it anyway. : I

JustinFroese
JustinFroese

Hopefully eventually Microsoft will stop trying to make "core" games for core gamers on Kinect and realise 99% of core gamers rather use the controller than dicey motion controls and start to make good core games that they used to make... naaaaaaaah

SolidTy
SolidTy

Gamers outcry : "Build up your 1st party, make more retail games"

 

M$ response : "Shut down two more projects and lay off more staff. ;)"

joemanuel222
joemanuel222

all long as its something with kinect being cancelled then it's all good.

Moofey
Moofey

Wow...

 

First Radical gets reduced to almost nothing, then Rockstar Vancouver moves toronto, now both Capcom and Microsoft's Vancouver studios have laid people off.

 

What is going on with the gaming industry in my city?

darkmakyua
darkmakyua

First, FF Versus XIII is 'cancelled', now Microsoft is 'shutting' down its Vancover studio.

 

 

That's two strikes, Kotaku....

roundthetwist06
roundthetwist06

I have to be careful when reading comments because I can feel my brain shrinking at the lack of anything remotely not pulled out of asses

XanderZane
XanderZane

If I remember correctly the Microsoft Flight game was going to be FREE. Sooooo.. I can understand this if it was taking too long to get the game completed. I wold rather Microsoft use that team to make Crimson Skies 2. Something gamers actually want to play.

@Nintyfan95

You don't own a Kinect, so why even comment on it? There are more original Kinect IP games then the "MOVE-on" has. These original games have outscored MOVE's overall. I doubt M$ is going to give up on Kinect. It has sold so many units and its games still sell very well. I think Microsoft is working on exclusives for their Next XBox, even though they should still support their current XBox 360 with exclusives since it has over 60 million in gamers homes.

Nintyfan95
Nintyfan95

This is why I only support Nintendo, and Sony because Microsoft never wants to make exclusives for there system. Even though it is a canned Kinect game, mabey thats a good sign they'll give up the Diskinect, get serious, and start making first party games.

pszone
pszone

Kinect is crap and be more crap for kinect 2 and this just small blow for microsoft . But In other news Microsoft lost money for the first time and angry about it. lol.

Sturmfuehrer_
Sturmfuehrer_

It's Micro$oft's way of admitting that Kinect is crap.

warhawk-geeby
warhawk-geeby

Does anyone else just see the word Kinect and think "Urrrghh".

 

No matter what article I read I just hate the thing even more :/

zulwalks
zulwalks

Usually they close these studios because they haven't produced or pitched anything promising. Microsoft is actually quite strict  when it comes to AAA first party games or anything related to any of its other AAA franchise

steelmouth
steelmouth

lol this guys should have seen this coming the moment they heard "a big-budget AAA shooter for Kinect", that was a dead give away that they will soon be unemployed

Zonno
Zonno

Wasn't there an article for open job positions in Kinect projects yesterday?

Dark_MetalSonic
Dark_MetalSonic

i wonder what those people who bought Kinect do with it now?

BillyColeman
BillyColeman

eh anything kinect  has been trash i mean enless thay make something good like a damn fatal frame game for it then its just trash ps i say fatal frame since i feel thats a game that work very well with kinect but hey im just a gamer what do i know?

damodar_thade
damodar_thade

Never good when people loose jobs but kinect projects being canned is hopefully a sign microsoft is giving up on that garbage.

Casey1967
Casey1967

Yes, Vancouver is expensive. Basic Home is about 1 Million $. Wages therefore must be much higher. You need $100,000 a year for a basic standard of living. Also, the current government is pro business but is going to be tossed out next year for a left wing gov.

Big companies are just exiting before the #$%@ hits the fan. Lots of talent still here because it's a trendy, creative city but sadly getting a little less sexy each year. There are several cities also giving huge tax advantages etc and Vancouver just isn't being competitive in that regard. I think Montreal and Toronto are likely going to see all the new action.

arc_salvo
arc_salvo

 @JJMikhail Also glad to see they're trying to find jobs for the people whose positions were eliminated.  I'm hoping that they'll find roles for them to fill.

MW2ismygame
MW2ismygame

 @midnightclubx no offense but if you or anyone could not tell that kinect was just a gimmick, like all motion controls , then you have a problem. the only reason that PS move and Kinect were made was to cash in on the success that nintendo found in the wii

TheArcade
TheArcade

 @SolidTy

 How strange... according to Wikipedia Micro$oft currently owns more $tudios than $ony & Nintendough. But don't worry those companies also got deep pockets hence the almighty dollar sign. :D

 

Moreover it's slightly perplexing you tried to discredit Microsoft's retail line-up considering: A.) They still collected more current-gen titles than PS3 so your logic would apply to the Japanese gaming giant. B.) Nintendo Wii retail line-up grows weaker by the year, every one is waiting for the Wii U. What makes the situation worse is they weren't even getting games like Assassin's Creed & Crisis to begin with.

WilliamRLBaker
WilliamRLBaker

 @SolidTy  System warriors outcry: build up your first party system warriors response: **** kinectIn reality: we love the games microsoft so many multiplats and all that other stuff. 

Bleak5170
Bleak5170

 @Moofey 

 

       The games industry has taken a bit of a nose-dive this year with sales being way down. It was inevitable that there were going to be repercussions.

SDBusDriver1979
SDBusDriver1979

 @XanderZane MS Flight was released 2 months ago using the free to play model while selling additional planes for a pretty expensive price. I doubt it would have generated enough revenue to justify having staff update it even if the planes were cheap. Simply wasn't as good as previous MS Fight Simulators. Also the people who would pay the high price for the planes, probably wouldn't as the game is a mix of an arcade and sim feel to it. Microsoft dropped the ball by making it more accessible to people instead of going the glorious $1000 Railworks Train Simulator dlc master race route.

XanderZane
XanderZane

 @pszone 

All 3 companies lost money with Sony losing over a billion once again in 2011. The fact that Kinect can do other things besides play games makes is far more superior then any other add-on in gaming this generation. The crappiest add-on was the 32X for the Genesis. Now that was crap.

XanderZane
XanderZane

 @warhawk-geeby 

I don't think that when I'm playing Dance Central 2, Kinect Sports or GunStringer. I hate gamers who don't own a Kinect and hate it. lol!! I hate the MOVE because it doesn't have enough good or great original IP games. I own a MOVE.

ArabrockermanX
ArabrockermanX

 @warhawk-geeby True I like the Move/Wii because I still have a controller but Kinect is kind of crappy. It is innovative and neat for those interested I guess. 

 

XanderZane
XanderZane

 @damodar_thade 

Only if Sony gives up on the crappy MOVE. As long as Kinect continues to make a profit for Microsoft, it's not going anywhere. It's still making them money.

CreayBsD
CreayBsD

@MW2ismygame @midnightclubx Soz midnight, but I got to disagree. Right now there is not much use for the kinect and we are still not shore were it will work best. Online gaming had the same problem at the start. No one could see the use for it, but now it is the biggest thing in the gaming industry. kinect will find its place, that probably be the casual market and not the core. The casual player are still a big market and are only going to get bigger with smart phones making games so popular. Kinect will never be something we, that being most people who read gamespot, are going to be interested in, it here to stay.

darkmakyua
darkmakyua

 @killa32130

 That's why I gave it quote marks. It seems some sites will put anything on a page to get some attention(i.e. the portable Neo Geo device that Famicom Plaza posted).

Nintyfan95
Nintyfan95

Micro$oft didn't make any exclusives since 09, which is basically this whole generation. I have no faith in them.

obsequies
obsequies

 @XanderZane I'm sure there were plenty of bad add ons..I don't think the kinect is worth it though

warhawk-geeby
warhawk-geeby

 @XanderZane I don't own one, but I've played one enough to put me off the thing, so much potential but focused on the casual.  It needs a good RTS game.  Couldn't agree more with the Move comment though, I've owned one for a while and still only have sports champions, that thing died of death.  Motion gaming overall should have just stayed as an 'idea'.

obsequies
obsequies

 @XanderZane you could have got a wii for that 150..that actually has games worth playing..and exclusives

Eruu
Eruu

 @XanderZane You sure love that Kinect thing, or maybe you just feel the need to convince yourself why those 150 bucks weren't a waste of cash.