Microsoft still developing Deadlands as original Xbox TV series

Microsoft is reportedly still working on turning the "Weird West" role playing game Deadlands into an original TV show for its Xbox Live service, despite plans to eventually shut down Xbox Entertainment Studios.

While previous reports stated that only Microsoft's Halo live action projects, along with its Atari documentary, would be moving forward, Shane Hensley, the creator of the Deadlands game, posted word on his Facebook page earlier this month that the project to turn it into a TV show is still moving forward at Microsoft. Indeed, he stated, "Rumors of the Deadlands live action series' demise, I'm happy to say, are greatly exaggerated."

Hensley added that the unnamed writer-director for the Deadlands TV show held meetings with Microsoft's Xbox Entertainment Studios executives and creative teams the day before the company announced the changes at Xbox Entertainment Studios. He wrote:

Both sides report that it was one of the best meetings they've ever had, with ideas flying and enthusiasm high. The group is now working on the series' outline and pilot revisions, and when we're able and if things continue to move ahead, we'll announce the writer / director and at least a little bit about the actual content of the series itself.

Microsoft had a rather ambitious plan to offer a number of different original TV shows that would have been shown exclusively on Xbox Live, but as part of the company's 18,000 employee layoff plans, the lineup of original shows have been heavily cut.

What do you think about the news that Deadlands looks like it will continue to be developed as an Xbox original TV show?

Source: Shane Hensley on Facebook

John Callaham
  • Yay 1st
  • I was hoping that it was going to say McLaren when I started reading the title of this article... :(
  • Of course. They have a thing for zombies. Remember that Brooklyn bridge zombie walk they did for the launch of the Xbox one?!
  • Hmm..
  • Yay 2nd
  • We're doing TV! Wait, no we aren't... We're doing Halo still..and...this....
  • Dude, stop. They never said anything officially
  • I'm not sure I understand your reply... What have they not made official?
  • I,just hope they think through sacking xes once more...its a great much potential for adevertisememt
    Good entertainment will make non,gamers aswell to consider buying a xbone....if they don't bank on will get ahead with its fire tv set top box...
  • I agree. I lost a ton of faith in Satya when that was announced. Not only did it prematurely kill off something that had already incurred sunk costs, but did so without seeing if it would've been profitable, while simultaneously alienating customers, employees, and advertisers. Good job, Satya. Oy ve. I've been letting him have it on Twitter. Hope others join me.
  • Nope, games will sell a game console. All this TV stuff was a huge distraction and a money pit. By losing their focus, Xbox lost a lot of ground to Sony.
  • Yet Sony is doing very similar things with original programming. People do realize that separate departments do this work right? It isn't like they're pulling game devs to man cameras at the studio or something...
  • It looked as a distraction because everything was stuff does pull your attention from old stuff..(in this case games on console) but this doesn't mean that developers and xbox division as a whole also have there attention shifted...its just they have broaden there scope and reach...when its come to entertainment...they will also prioritise games..but that doesn't mean they shouldn't innovate where it is possible....if going by that logic nothing new will come from any company...i for one think that xbone offers much more than had more to offer from the beginning..and it will catch up now that its cheaper...and launched in more territories..
  • No, money spent on dumb TV projects could've gone to developing an exclusive game or securing deals like Sony got with Destiny. Leave the TV show development to services that already specialize in that.
  • We have exclusives....some consol defining like Halo. And wats to say that exclusives will just stop coming up...wat about the possibilities of profit....what if a series is so good it gets translated into an Exclusive game on xbone...? MSFT has to venture in new places...
  • The Xbox 360, PS3, Xbox One, and PS4 are all used more for non-gaming purposes than for gaming purposes. Despite proclamations from "hardcore gamers" who say they "only" care about games, most people like a mix of games, tv, movies, music, etc. Xbox Entertainment Studios was not detracting from gaming one iota. It was a completely separate studio, and a small one at that (200 people). Not only was it not detracting from Microsoft Studios' game production, it was actually complementing the game experience (see Halo Nightfall being bundled in with Halo: Master Chief Collection as well as the Quantum Break complementary TV series). It brought interactivity and mini-games to TV shows (see Every Street United and the Brazil Now app), and it kept Microsoft's franchises in the news and in people's minds more often and more cheaply than a new game did (it costs a lot less to make Halo: Nightfall than it does to make Halo 5). Most egregious of all, we have no idea if XES would've been profitable or not! It might've been, it might not've been, but now we'll never know because Satya is short-sighted. The result: Xbox One owners are mad, fired employees are mad, and advertisers who already bought into XES are mad. Those kinds of burned bridges are not easy to repair. It was not worth it to kill XES so prematurely. Satya sucks.
  • Sony is doing superheroes original TV stuff
  • XES could be another Gold mine for MS or it might not be will wait and see. With the cuts I think Satya is also going with that approach.
  • My guess is that the deadlands project was related to more than a TV series, and microsoft all lisenced the rights to make a WRPG for it as well. (Maybe by Lionhead).   I think getting Rid of XES is going to be a bad move in the long run. Even if they aren't doing orginal series having series that adapt or tie into your games are much better. 
  • I think we can still have original Xbox content even without them having a studio... It may add a bit of complexity to the process, but no more than usual perhaps...
  • Man, love me some deadlands. Weird west is my favorite Genre!
  • If they're eventually going to shut down the studios then why continue with the production? Perhaps we're going to see a Lumia with Android after all even though they've said they won't make Android phones anymore.
  • So a Facebook post by the creator says otherwise. Right up there with the guy who said Zen Intergalactic Ninja was going to be the next TMNT.
  • Contra show please, thanks. Don't know how it would even be possible but get it done MS.
  • Hell yeah, so happy about this!!
  • Awesome
  • If Microsoft will not support there video service with exclusive content? What guarantee is there for me as a consumer that my digital content will be there in 5 years. Go all in or go home. Maybe I should buy blueray
  • If the service is ever killed, just download all your movies and strip the DRM. Simple. Hell do it now and save them to a bakup drive.
  • That's a dumb argument. Being a digital video service has nothing to do with producing content. iTunes is the biggest service in the world and makes no TV shows.