Microsoft is laying off staff at its Vancouver studio after it halted development on Flight and "Project Columbia," a Kinect-based virtual storybook for children. A representative speaking to Joystiq said that the 35 people affected would receive help to find new roles within the company, and that it remains invested in the city's industry. In a statement to Kotaku, included after the break, it added that it would continue to support the free title, which was itself a revival of the doomed MS Flight Simulator, and that it would remain available for download.
"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/."