Microsoft may have closed five more internal game studios

Microsoft may be making more changes to its internal Xbox and Windows 10 game developer studios than first announced. The company has confirmed it will be closing Lionhead Studios in the UK and Press Play in Denmark, but the Microsoft Studios website has quietly been edited to remove five more studios from the list, along with the Project Spark team.

The changes to the website page was first spotted by and appear to have been made around the same time as the Lionhead and Press Play shutdown news. The list of missing teams includes the Candian studio BigPark, which released some Kinect-based games for the Xbox 360.

In fact, the other four missing teams (Function Studios, Good Science, LXP and SOTA) have all been linked in the past with either released or unannounced Kinect-based games for Microsoft's consoles. It's more than possible that Microsoft's move to de-emphasize the Kinect sensor in the Xbox One has led them to shut down those studios that were working on Kinect games.

The removal of Project Spark, which was Microsoft's attempt to launch a game creation tool, was expected. The company announced several months ago they were no longer going to offer paid DLC content for Project Spark and that it would be completely free to download and use.

The 10 remaining teams and groups listed on the Microsoft Studios site include Microsoft Casual Games, Xbox Fitness, ID@Xbox, Microsoft Studios Global Publishing, the UK-based Lift London and Rare, Minecraft studio Mojang, Forza developer Turn 10, Gears of War developer The Coalition and Microsoft's main Halo studio 343 Industries.

John Callaham