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Microsoft Pri0

Welcome to Microsoft Pri0: That's Microspeak for top priority, and that's the news and observations you'll find here from Seattle Times technology reporter Matt Day.

July 26, 2012 at 9:03 AM

Microsoft grounds “Microsoft Flight,” “Project Columbia”

Microsoft has stopped development on “Microsoft Flight,” the online and PC game that’s part of the company’s 25-year-old “Flight Simulator” franchise.

“Microsoft Flight,” which debuted Feb. 29, had marked “a new business direction for Microsoft’s PC game business, which is using ‘Flight’ to experiment with free online games monetized through microtransactions,” according to my colleague, Brier Dudley, who did a Q&A with the Microsoft Flight executive producer just five months ago.

Microsoft Studios has also halted production on “Project Columbia,” a Kinect interactive TV project, according to the gaming sites Kotaku and Shacknews, which also reported that because the projects are grounded, Microsoft has laid off a number of people in its Vancouver studio.

Microsoft declined to give a number for the layoffs but issued a statement, saying:

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/

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