Microsoft Studios said today that it’s acquired the rights to the “Gears of War” franchise — including all existing and future games, entertainment experiences and merchandise — from Epic Games. Rod Fergusson, former Director of Production at Epic Games on the “Gears of War” franchise, will join Microsoft, while Black Tusk Studios in Vancouver, B.C., will…More
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Microsoft has hired Ari Mark, a former AMC programming director, as head of unscripted programming for Xbox Entertainment Studios, according to Deadline Hollywood. Mark has been vice president of development at AMC, director of development at Embassy Row and manager of original programming and development at the Sundance Channel, according to his LinkedIn profile. At AMC,…More
It’s not only Netflix and Amazon.com that are getting into producing their own original programming.
Xbox Entertainment Studios, created in 2012, has slowly been getting into the game. It had announced its first first original program — “Halo, the Television Series,” produced by Steven Spielberg — in May.More
At Microsoft’s annual company meeting today, executives reportedly demonstrated the cloud gaming streaming service it’s been working on. The company apparently demonstrated “Halo 4″ being streamed to a Windows Phone and PC, according to The Verge. Microsoft has been emphasizing cloud services as part of its shift into a devices-and-services company, and the gaming arena is…More
Microsoft launched Xbox Music on the Xbox 360 and as a part of the services that come with Windows 8, Windows RT and Windows Phone 8 devices. Now Microsoft is expanding the platforms Xbox Music runs on, adding iOS and Android, as well as free streaming on its Web player, meaning it’s free to anyone with…More
Microsoft is ending MSN TV (formerly called WebTV) service on Sept. 30, marking an end to one of Microsoft’s many attempts to become a major presence in TV and home entertainment.
Microsoft purchased WebTV networks in 1997 for $425 million — at that time its largest acquisition ever. WebTV was a Palo Alto-based company that provided technology that enabled people to use their TVs to browse the Internet. For a lower price than a typical PC, WebTV allowed users to surf the Web and handle emails via their TV and a wireless keyboard.More
Don Mattrick, the Microsoft exec in charge of Xbox who will be taking over as Zynga’s CEO on July 8, is getting a compensation package from the social-games company worth at least $50 million.
Mattrick will receive a one-time signing bonus of $5 million plus an annual base salary of $1 million, Zynga disclosed in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.More
[This story is running in today's print edition of The Seattle Times.]
Don Mattrick, head of the Microsoft division that produces Xbox, is leaving to lead social-game company Zynga — a move that could signal the first big-name jumping of ship from Microsoft in an expected companywide reorganization.
Mattrick, 49, who has been president of Microsoft’s Interactive Entertainment Business for three years, will become Zynga CEO and a member of its board starting Monday.
Mark Pincus, Zynga’s founding CEO, will remain chairman of the board and Zynga’s chief product officer.
There’s been speculation that Mattrick’s move could have been motivated by a reorganization that Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has reportedly been working on and that could be announced as soon as Tuesday.More
Microsoft announced this morning at the E3 gaming conference that its upcoming Xbox One system will be available in stores for $499.99 starting in November. The price includes the Xbox One console (which has a 500GB hard drive, Blu-ray player and built-in Wi-Fi), the new Kinect, an Xbox One Wireless Controller and a 14-day…More
The U.S. International Trade Commission has decided to make final a judge’s preliminary ruling that Microsoft’s Xbox console does not infringe on a Motorola patent.
The decision brings to a close a case in which Motorola — now owned by Google — had sought an import ban into the U.S. of all Xbox consoles, claiming that certain technologies used in the Xbox violate Motorola’s patents. (Xbox console are manufactured mainly in China.)More