Microsoft has cancelled the Inside Xbox video series in Europe as part of wider plans to transition from a first to a thirdparty content model.
The decision follows last week’s decision to cancel the US version of Inside Xbox, which also provided content for Canada, Australia and New Zealand.
Streamed directly from the Xbox 360 dashboard, Inside Xbox offered firstparty coverage of Xbox 360 games, products, news and events. European hosts Daniel Maher and Andy Farrant have lost their jobs.
While the content was highly regarded by many Xbox 360 owners, Microsoft’s decision is perhaps unsurprising given its decision to bury Inside Xbox beneath a host of other media and entertainment apps when it introduced its latest dashboard update. The move made Inside Xbox much less visible to content browsers than it had been, just as it did with Xbox Live Indie Games.
It’s widely believed that Microsoft’s long-term goal is to position Xbox as an all-in-one entertainment hub, which will inevitably result in games taking a backseat to more popular forms of entertainment. The platform holder said in March that Xbox 360 users now spend more time consuming movies, TV shows and music online than they do playing games.
While explaining today’s announcement, Xbox Live director of programming Larry Hyrb said that Xbox Live in Mexico and Japan will continue to produce firstparty content via other media outside of the Inside Xbox brand.
"Following the news last week that that Inside Xbox in the US was to cease production, the team in Europe has been investigating what makes most sense for them and the Xbox Live community as they continue to strive to deliver the latest gaming and entertainment news for users across the region.
"As such, they have decided to move away from the current first-party produced content model and transition to a third-party content model, which will provide timely and locally-relevant content to users across more of the EMEA markets.
"Whilst this means that the Inside Xbox brand will effectively be retired in Europe, the focus remains on continuing to provide the Xbox Live community with the latest and best in games and entertainment news and information."