Viewing Company : Microsoft Studios

Microsoft Studios is the video game production wing for Microsoft, responsible for the development and publishing of games for the Xbox, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Games for Windows, Steam, Windows Store, and Windows Phone platforms. They were established in 2002 as Microsoft Game Studios to coincide with the already released Xbox, before being re-branded in 2011. The subsidiary had also been known as Microsoft Game Division and simply Microsoft Games before 2002. Microsoft Studios develops and publishes games in conjunction with first and third party development studios under their publishing label.”


news-forzahorizon

Posted in an update to the Forza Motorsport blog on September 23rd, Turn 10’s Brian Ekberg confirmed that the original Forza Horizon on Xbox 360 would be delisted on October 20th.

“On October 20, the original Forza Horizon for Xbox 360 will reach “End of Life” status. That means that the game and its associated DLC will no longer be available for purchase. Players who own Forza Horizon before that date will still be able to download and play the game and its associated content as normal. After that date, however, Forza Horizon and its associated DLC will no longer be for sale.”

The game was included in the Games with Gold program and was available to all Xbox Live Gold members from September 1st through the 15th. Anyone who grabbed the game through mid-September or purchased it previously can still re-download it through their Purchase History page.

If you’re interested in the founding entry in the Horizon series you still have about 2 weeks to download it on Xbox 360 or Xbox One. Of course, you can always pick the game up on disc after October 20th if you miss this small remaining window of availability.

As for why the 4-year-old game is being delisted it is most certainly due to licensing. Nearly 60 different manufacturers are featured in the game and 62 artists appear on the soundtrack. Renegotiating new terms with two sequels ahead of it probably isn’t a priority investment for Turn 10 or Microsoft. With that in mind, don’t be surprised to hear a similar announcement regarding Forza Horizon 2 in another two years when it nears the four year mark.

 

news-joust

For reasons as yet unknown Midway’s Xbox Live Arcade classic, Joust, has returned! Available for $4.99, Joust is even backward compatible on Xbox One so go grab it before it disappears again. The renewed license looks to span the globe as the game has also returned to Europe, Australia and Japan.

Doing a quick search of Xbox.com doesn’t turn up any other delisted Midway titles but if Joust can return so too could the other titles delisted alongside it back in 2010.

Sources: TrueAchievements, Major Nelson

_blankboxDigital Release:Original digital release date
Delisting:Exact or Approximate date of delisting
Developer:Developer
Publisher:Publisher
Available On:Anywhere it may still be available, online or at retail
Links:Any relevant links not referenced below. Live or archived links.

_blankboxDigital Release:Original digital release date
Delisting:Exact or Approximate date of delisting
Developer:Developer
Publisher:Publisher
Available On:Anywhere it may still be available, online or at retail
Links:Any relevant links not referenced below. Live or archived links.

_blankboxDigital Release:Original digital release date
Delisting:Exact or Approximate date of delisting
Developer:Developer
Publisher:Publisher
Available On:Anywhere it may still be available, online or at retail
Links:Any relevant links not referenced below. Live or archived links.

When Microsoft announced the termination of Xbox Fitness for Xbox One at the end of June they were met with legitimate outcry by its users. According to the announcement even previously purchased workouts would be inaccessible when the service is shut down on July 1st, 2017. Commentors were directed to contact Xbox Support to inquire about a refund but Microsoft has since decided to automate the process.

The blog post was updated on July 5th with the following hastily written details:

  1. Every user that purchased Xbox Fitness content will be eligible to receive a credit in his or her Microsoft account for the value of the content purchased. Credits can be used to make purchases in the Xbox and Windows Stores.
  2. Credits will be deposited automatically into the accounts of Xbox Fitness users. An Xbox System Message will be sent at the time of deposit, viewable on Xbox One, Xbox.com or the Xbox on Windows application.
  3. Xbox Fitness users will receive their credit within 90 days and the credit will be available for use for one year from the day of deposit.
  4. The majority of Xbox Fitness users will receive the account credit directly in their Microsoft account. A small number of users, who including those who are not able to receive a deposit, will receive an Xbox system message with a code or some other form of equivalent value.
  5. As announced, beginning June 27, 2016 users will no longer be able to purchase programs and/or workouts. Xbox Fitness users who purchased workouts in the past will be able to play them until June 10, 2017

That last bullet point mentions June 10th as the cutoff but this is likely a typo and the original date of June 30th still stands. Microsoft seems very adamant about terminating Xbox Fitness but they’re finally doing right by its users who invested their money in paid workouts.

news-xboxfitness

Microsoft Studios announced on Monday, June 27th in a blog post that the Xbox Fitness app on Xbox One would be shutting down in just over a year on July 1st, 2017. Effective immediately, the sale of in-game content has been stopped but previously purchased workouts will remain available through the end of the service.

On December 15th, 2016 the “Free with Gold” offer expires which took some digging to unravel. What that means is that the free workouts and streaming of previously purchased workouts come to an end. If you want to keep up with your workouts for as long as possible you’ll need to dig into the app and choose to download them before December 15th.

Finally, on July 1st, 2017 the app and all associated content will no longer be available to anyone. Similar to other online-only releases like Karaoke, the Xbox Fitness app may still launch but even if you have downloaded workouts on your console you’ll be unable to access them.

_blankboxDigital Release:Original digital release date
Delisting:Exact or Approximate date of delisting
Developer:Developer
Publisher:Publisher
Available On:Anywhere it may still be available, online or at retail
Links:Any relevant links not referenced below. Live or archived links.

_blankboxDigital Release:Original digital release date
Delisting:Exact or Approximate date of delisting
Developer:Developer
Publisher:Publisher
Available On:Anywhere it may still be available, online or at retail
Links:Any relevant links not referenced below. Live or archived links.

news-projectspark

Confirming my suspicions after months of near total silence, Team Dakota confirmed on Friday, May 13th that the DIY game, Project Spark, would no longer be available to download on Windows or Xbox One platforms. While interested players were caught off guard and can no longer access Project Spark, those who still have it installed can download and save any community creations through August 12th, 2016. I can also confirm that the game may be re-downloaded through your Microsoft account purchase history but that link will most likely break in August.

“This was an extremely difficult decision for our team that we do not take lightly,” writes Thomas Gratz, Community Manager, on the Project Spark forums. “When Project Spark transitioned away from active development last fall, many of our team members moved to other projects within Microsoft Studios. While this means there have been no layoffs at Microsoft, it also means it’s simply no longer feasible to continue the behind-the-scenes work involved with keeping Project Spark up and running with meaningful updates and bug fixes, so we have come to this hard decision.”

Prior to the Fall 2015 update, Project Spark was released in a physical “Starter Kit” at retail, though the box contains only a download code and no disc. Those who purchased the physical edition and redeemed the code between October 5th, 2015 and May 13th, 2016 will receive a credit to their Microsoft account.

It’s always sad to see a game get delisted or cancelled but it’s especially painful for Project Spark as the creations of its users, supporters and fans will ultimately be deleted. My personal condolences go out to everyone who even dabbled with the game’s creation tools. In a sense we’re all being delisted alongside Project Spark come August 12th.

Read more on Project Spark

_blankboxDigital Release:Original digital release date
Delisting:Exact or Approximate date of delisting
Developer:Developer
Publisher:Publisher
Available On:Anywhere it may still be available, online or at retail
Links:Any relevant links not referenced below. Live or archived links.