Xbox Entertainment Studios is dead, but that doesn't mean all is lost. We've heard that current projects are still on for production, which includes the Halo web series by Ridley Scott, and the Halo TV series by Steven Spielberg.
To make things more interesting, Showtime has said that it is still interested in having Halo on its network.
The move to shutter the Xbox Entertainment Studios division came as a surprise, but wasn't totally shocking since new CEO Satya Nadella is a man who believes in a mobile-first and cloud-first mantra. It's sad to realize that some of the cool ideas for TV shows are now canned, but at least Halo is still on the cards, for now anyway.
According to Showtime boss David Nevins, Halo the TV series is still on track despite the closure of Xbox Entertainment Studios, but Nevins fell short of confirming that everything will end well. The Xbox Entertainment Studios group had been schedled to develop and produce the series with Amblin TV in partnership with Showtime.
"My understanding is that they are not going to build a new streaming service, but Halo is their biggest property, and there is enormous will to find a way to bring it to a new media," Nevins said. "Those conversations are ongoing."
One of the reasons Nadella killed plans for original programming was because the team behind Xbox Entertainment Studios was dragging its feet. Member had problems closing deals, and it shows with the Halo TV series since a deal has yet to be made with Showtime.
The Showtime deal is not an easy one to make, we must admit. One of the reasons things haven't gone far could have a lot to do with Microsoft wanting Halo to air first on Xbox Video, but it was challenged by Showtime to instead have it air first on the cable network.
Since Microsoft is no longer pushing to be like Netflix, chances are the company will give Showtime what it wants, and we'll be watching the Halo TV series some time in 2015 on Showtime.
We're particularly happy to see that plans for a Halo TV series aren't dead, and that Showtime is still interested. It is now up to Microsoft to make the right moves and give fans what they've been begging for.