Sources: Microsoft to close completely its Aces game studio

Summary:Tips that Microsoft's Entertainment & Devices (E&D) unit (Windows Mobile, Xbox, Zune) was impacted most heavily by the first round of layoffs announced January 22 seem to be panning out. And it's increasingly sounding like the games side of the house bore the brunt of the E&D cuts.

It was unclear on January 22, the day Microsoft announced plans to lay off 5,000 employees, exactly which products, teams and job functions were cut. The day after, it still is fairly murky.

But it does seem that tips that the company's Entertainment & Devices (E&D) unit (Windows Mobile, Xbox, Zune) was impacted most heavily by the first round of layoffs. And it's increasingly sounding like the games side of the house bore the brunt of the E&D cuts.

Microsoft has closed completely its Aces Studio, the game group that developed and maintained Flight Simulator, sources close to the company confirmed. Aces' other franchises include Combat Flight Simulator and Train Simulator.

GameSutra is reporting that the Aces Studio was affected heavily by yesterday's corporate layoffs. I hear Aces isn't just "damaged," but it's done. Aces will join the small but growing list of former Microsoft game studios, which includes Ensemble, Bungie and Digital Anvil, among others.

I don't have official confirmation from Microsoft on this. But that's what I'm hearing, directly and indirectly, from various sources.

Anyone out there have more details or specifics about other products/teams that are being eliminated as a result of Microsoft cuts?

Topics: Mobility, Microsoft

About

Mary Jo Foley has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications, including ZDNet, eWeek and Baseline. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008). She also is the cohost of the "Windows Weekly" podcast on the TWiT network. Got a tip? Se... Full Bio

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