Microsoft has confirmed in a statement this morning that it has discontinued Microsoft Flight and a children’s game for Kinect called Project Columbia. As a result the company has also laid off some staff at its Vancouver, Canada-based studio. How many employees have been given the axe we do not know as of this writing. Earlier rumors indicated that Microsoft had shut the studio down altogether, but those rumors turned out to be false. In a statement to the media, Microsoft said that in evaluating its portfolio it came to the "difficult decision" that it was time to "stop development on Microsoft Flight and Project Columbia."
"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/."
The free reboot of the popular flight simulation game was supposed to introduce more casual players to the franchise, while bringing long time fans of the series back to the table. Last year Microsoft launched Microsoft Flight as a downloadable free-to-play online-only game. The game let players fly one or two aircraft over the Hawaiian landscape for free, with additional content available for a small fee.