Bulk of Microsoft Layoffs Hitting Xbox, Zune Divison?

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Update: Over at VentureBeat, respected games journalist Dean Takahashi has confirmed the closure of Flight Simulator developer ACES.

He also offers word that Microsoft has laid off roughly 30% of its game testers, and may restructure the management of its gaming division next week.

Original: A majority of the immediate 1,400 layoffs Microsoft announced yesterday will hit its Entertainment & Devices division, anonymous sources have told ZDNet.

That's the branch responsible for Microsoft's gaming efforts, including the Xbox 360 console and PC titles, along with its portable Zune media player. The actual effects that the layoffs will have on its products and their future support is not yet known.

The studio responsible for Microsoft's Flight Simulator games is reported to be among those cut, losing a bulk of, if not its entire, staff. There's no indication from Microsoft if this signals the end of the Flight Simulator series, or if it will be tasked to another studio.

The layoffs also hit those responsible for Microsoft's Xbox-oriented Gamerscore Blog, which shut down earlier this week. Former writers Chris Paladino and Nelson Rodriguez revealed the news via their respective Twitter pages.

In all, Microsoft plans to eliminate "up to" 5,000 jobs across the next year and a half, with the cuts said to be coming from R&D, marketing, sales, finance, legal, HR, and IT.

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From The Chatty
  • reply
    January 23, 2009 8:22 AM

    ugh, i will never get a canadian marketplace for my zune :(

    • reply
      January 23, 2009 8:42 AM

      Don't worry, you're not missing much--the Canadian one for iTunes is scarcely better. In other news ... you bought a Zune? Who buys a Zune?

      • reply
        January 23, 2009 9:32 AM

        i do because i want a full featured MP3 player without itunes and no touch screen/terrible scroll wheel

      • reply
        January 23, 2009 9:33 AM

        I keep wondering why anyone buys iPods, or any apple products for that matter. Do you get an ego boost or feel more special than those around you sporting non apple products?

        • FTY legacy 10 years
          reply
          January 23, 2009 9:58 AM

          If you want space on your player you take it? I didn't find a single "mp3" player that was around 200EUR and had 80GB space, so I went with the iPod. That said, I'm happy with it for what it is, a portable disk and a player. Listening to tunes on the way to work and back, while having files I need on it. Everything else about it is crap, from iTunes to the actual scroll wheel etc..

          If I'd have an alternative to Apple I'd be happy to take the plunge, but since Zune isn't available in Europe, what choice do I have?

        • reply
          January 23, 2009 7:50 PM

          iPod = large capacity and gapless playback. Only the Zune offers those features as well and it's not sold in most countries.

      • reply
        January 23, 2009 9:44 AM

        The Zune is actually a pretty good device and the software is a billion times better than Itunes if you run Windows. I wouldn't have initially tried one if I didn't get it for free, but I found myself using it a lot more than my ipod. It integrates well with X360 (streams perfectly), ZunePass is pretty sweet, and having an integrated social music network that is unified with your X360 is pretty rad. Full FM support, meaningful software updates, wireless sync, searchable music marketplace on the device, etc.

        • reply
          January 23, 2009 10:13 AM

          ^^Zune software is WAY nicer than iTunes. I don't even own a Zune but I install the player on each computer.

        • reply
          January 23, 2009 10:39 AM

          You forgot tagging of fm songs for later download/purchase from the marketplace. Love that feature.

      • reply
        January 23, 2009 10:48 AM

        I would buy it simply to keep iTunes off of my computer.

      • reply
        January 25, 2009 7:31 PM

        Actually I have a Zune 120 and its sound quality is better then an Ipod, but the best part is marketplace. Unlike Itunes I can use marketplace like Rhapsody. You can download as much music as you want. Granted that's subscription BUT you can keep 10 of those tracks DRM free as your own each month. Itunes offers nothing of the sort. So in the end marketplace actually costs you $5 a month. It was real deal breaker.

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