Microsoft is trying to head off speculation that more layoffs maybe in the works at its Xbox division. This comes a day after it was revealed that a page on the Microsoft Studios website removed several internal teams.
Earlier this week, Microsoft confirmed that it will close Lionhead Studios in the UK and Press Play in Denmark. However, the Microsoft Studios site also removed a number of other teams at the same time, including BigPark, Function Studios, Good Science, LXP and SOTA. All of them had either released games for Microsoft's Kinect devices on the Xbox 360 or Xbox One or were rumored to be working on Kinect or HoloLens titles.
GameInformer received a statement from Microsoft about these team removals:
"On Monday we announced changes to Microsoft Studios including Lionhead and Press Play," a Microsoft representative told us via email. "As part of these changes, we did a site refresh and removed several logos for older studios and projects that have been consolidated during the past several years into other Microsoft Studios and teams. As games launch and new projects come online, we routinely make these kinds of moves to ensure we have the right development support on the right games."
The Project Spark team was also removed from the Microsoft Studios site. The game creation tool became completely free to download and use, with no new DLC or in-app purchases support planned. However, the Project Spark servers have also been down since March 4,making the Windows 8.1 and Xbox One app unusable. Microsoft stated, "We are aware of the current service outage and are working as quickly as possible on a solution."
Update: Lionhead Studios is once again listed on the Microsoft Studios website, indicating that the fate of the studio is likely still up in the air as Microsoft continues discussing its proposed closure.