Microsoft has closed down development on free-to-play title Microsoft Flight
just five months after it originally launched, and laid off a number of staff at its Vancouver development studio in the process.
Microsoft Flight launched earlier this year
as the first title in the long-running Flight Simulator
series to utilize the free-to-play business model. The game features a store for purchasing and downloading extra content like new aircraft, regions, and customization options.
The company also confirmed that it has shut down development of Project Columbia
, a series of interactive, educational books for children developed in conjunction with the Sesame Workshop Curriculum Team.
In a statement to Kotaku, Microsoft confirmed
that development on both projects has been cancelled to "better align with our long-term goals and development plans," adding that "many factors were considered in the difficult decision."
It also noted that community support for Microsoft Flight
will continue, and the game will remain available to download for free -- however, it will not continue to develop content for the game.
Microsoft said that a number of staffers at its Vancouver-based studio have been laid off, although it would not comment on exactly how many.