Microsoft Addresses Tango Gameworks Closure…Sort Of

hi fi rush tango gameworks xbox studios Microsoft

When Microsoft announced four studio closures in May, seeing Tango Gameworks listed as one of them was of the most surprising. Now, in an interview with Variety, Xbox Games Studio head Matt Booty gave some small insight as to what happened with the Hi-Fi Rush developer and why it was shut down.

Though he wouldn’t go into the “nitty gritty details” of what happened out of what he called respect for those who were at the studio, he did talk the decision being a “forward-looking situation” for Microsoft.

“I think the thing to be considered is that, for us, it’s as much a forward-looking situation as much as it is looking back at one certain game,” Booty said. “There are a lot of things that go into [delivering] success for a game. What leadership do you have? What creative leadership do you have? Is the team the same team that shipped something successful previously?

“We have to look at all of those things together and then ask ourselves ‘are we set up for success going forward?'”

Tango Gameworks founder Shinji Mikami left the studio in February 2023 after the release of Hi-Fi Rush, which Booty confirmed “did well” for Microsoft. While it wasn’t explicitly mentioned, Booty did make a comment regarding having proper leadership in place was a factor in a studio’s future.

He also that studio changes don’t always have to mean closures, and pointed to Toys for Bob specifically as one that went independent.

“We recently had Toys for Bob…go back out and become a new independent studio,” he said. “We’ve announced we’ve got a publishing deal with them and we’ll share more about that when it’s important.

“I think back to a studio called Twisted Pixel in Texas that we acquired, then we had a change in goals and it wasn’t a perfect match anymore. That studio today is still thriving. We wanted to set them up for success, so we absolutely look at what the possible business options are.”

Again, though not explicitly said, the comments on Toys for Bob and Twisted Pixel could be lead one to believe that Microsoft tried to either sell or make Tango Gameworks an independent studio before the decision to close. What ultimately led to the final decision, however, is anyone’s guess.


What do you think of the latest in the seemingly never-ending drama surrounding Microsoft’s decision to close Tango Gameworks? For more Insider Gaming, read about the canceled Red Faction sequel by Embracer, and subscribe to our YouTube channel for exclusive shows, news, interviews, reviews, and more.

  1. Doesn’t answer anything it’s kind of damage control because of backlash but it’s not helping. Why not close 343, Rare, Turn 10, or Arkane as a whole studios who only make flops or have troubles. The other dumb thing is they said Hi-Fi did great for them and it was like the only exclusive they had last year so it’s weird.

    1. Exactly Halo Infinite took a while and still flopped, Halo 5 flop, what ever happened to Everwild? That Clockwork Revolution game from inXile looks like a PS3 game. Forza the last main one looked worse than Horizon and it’s pretty much no evolution in graphics. Somehow Compulsion and Initiative who both had very troubled games survived makes no sense but Tango who made good games and had no serious problems shuts down and Roundhouse who couldn’t even show their game.

  2. Xbox as a whole needs a leadership change why are Phil, Matt, Sarah, and Aaron still employed

Comments are closed.