Back in January 2009, Microsoft stopped production on its longest running software title ever, as it shut down Aces Studio and ended the 25 year run of Microsoft Flight Simulator. The cuts came as Microsoft slashed 5,000 jobs across the company in economy-related cost cutting moves.
But then Microsoft announced the rebirth of Flight Simulator as Microsoft Flight, revealing at Gamescom 2010 in Germany that Microsoft Flight would arrive as a Games for Windows Live title. The announcement came with a teaser site that received fairly regular updates over the next months, and was released in February of this year.
Now, only six months after that release, Microsoft has announced that they will be again ceasing development on their flight simulation product, and Microsoft Flight, although it will still be available for download in its current form, is shutting down. Kotaku reported on the news and offered up this statement from Microsoft:
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/.
Project Columbia was a “Kinect interactive TV project designed for children”
Kotaku reports that although a number of workers were laid off at the Microsoft Games Studio in Vancouver, B.C., where Microsoft Flight and Project Columbia were developed, and posts on Facebook indicated that “the entire studio… has been laid off”, that Microsoft informed Kotaku that they have not shut down the studio.
(via Janet Tu at the Seattle Times)