Microsoft Cuts XSN SportsA story in the Seattle Times reveals that Microsoft has shut down its internal sports game studio, XSN Sports. The cut is the divisions largest single layoff since Microsoft launched the Xbox in 2001. As a result of the move, 76 employees will be laid off, however, Microsoft has stated that they are working to find other positions within the company for the affected employees. "The business has grown and a vibrant ecosystem of third-party developers has emerged," said spokeswoman Molly ODonnell. "These developers are filling the pipeline with an abundance of great games." The closing of XSN Sports studios, who have been responsible for such series as NFL Fever, NHL Rivals and Inside Drive, really comes as no surprise. Microsoft had already announced that development of titles for the current year would be halted, and in May the company announced a deal with industry giant EA Sports to bring 15 titles to Microsofts Xbox. It should be noted that the Utah-based studio responsible for the Links and Amped titles are not affected by the move, and that the 76 employees being layed off had been verbally notified starting Wednesday that their jobs end October 25, 2004.