Despite hopes that the job cuts at Microsoft wouldn't affect its gaming division, it seems that nothing is safe from the effects of the economic downturn.

Microsoft has reportedly closed down ACES, one of its oldest studios which helped in the development of Microsoft Flight Simulator, and axed the entire staff.

The Flight Sim franchise is one of the longest running game series in existence, first released in 1982 and in continual development ever since.

Beginning with Flight Simulator 1.0, and finishing most recently with Flight Simulator X in 2006, there have been 12 releases in total over more than 20 years. ACES were also behind the development of Combat Flight Simulator, and the upcoming Train Simulator 2.

If studios like ACES and Ensemble Studios can be affected, it seems that other Microsoft Game Studios can't consider themselves safe. There are only a few in-house studios remaining, with Lionhead Studios and Rare among them. We'll keep you updated on anything we hear.