This morning's news that Microsoft was killing off their Xbox Live video game show 1 Vs. 100 didn't come as a surprise for a lot of people, including those working on the project. But what happened?
Sources close to the project tell us that 1 Vs. 100 fell victim to, among other things, some game-killing management issues. When 1 Vs. 100 was created, we are told, the team working on it also created an entire framework for building future games along the same lines. But the 1 Vs. 100 project was moved between so many different people within Microsoft Game Studios that in the end enough resources weren't put into marketing and selling ads for the game.
In the end, we're told, Microsoft killed the online game because the direct revenue it was bringing in wasn't enough to cover the costs of creating new seasons.
There is also the possibility, of course, that the folks behind the televised game show saw the success and decided they wanted a bigger cut of the pie.
It's good to see that Microsoft plans to continue to use the framework conceived for 1 Vs. 100 for future, similar games. But I can't help but wonder if the rapid departure of Microsoft entertainment president Robbie Bach, a man who helped push the Xbox 360 beyond the realm of gaming and into general entertainment, might see the demise of other innovative, non-core gaming ideas.
We have contacted Microsoft for comment and will update this post when and if they respond.