Microsoft has confirmed to IGN that it has closed Aces Game Studio, the internal development house responsible for the Microsoft Flight Simulator series.

The Flight Simulator series has been an ever present for more than 20 years, but company wide layoffs announced on Thursday have lead to the closure of Aces Game Studio. According to a statement made by Kelda Rericha of Edelman, Microsoft's public relations firm, the decision was made within Microsoft's Internal Entertainment Business "to align our people against our highest priorities".

The future of the Microsoft Flight Simulator franchise is now very much in doubt, although Rericha has confirmed to IGN that MS remains committed to the franchise.

"We are committed to the Flight Simulator franchise which has proven to be a successful PC based game for the last 27 years. You should expect us to continue to invest in enabling great LIVE experiences on Windows, including flying games, but we have nothing specific to announce at this time," said Rericha.