Microsoft has confirmed that a “small” number of positions at its Vancouver-based development studio have been terminated. According to an official statement, the roles were no longer deemed necessary after development ceased on Microsoft’s free-to-play Flight, which was released in February, and an unreleased Kinect project known only as “Columbia.”
Project Columbia, as described in late 2011, was to be an educational Kinect title meant to engage young players by pairing books with interactive music and illustrations. It was being designed in collaboration with Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit (and muppet-infused) educational organization.
A report on Kotaku brought the layoffs to light earlier today, after several former employees of the Vancouver studio shared the news on Twitter. A Microsoft Studios spokesperson claims “human resources is working with the affected individuals to find new roles within the company,” and that Microsoft remains invested in the British Columbia games industry.