BREAKING: Xbox Shutting Down Four Game Studios Including Tango Gameworks And Arkane Austin

hi fi rush tango gameworks xbox studios

Microsoft and Xbox are shutting down four game studios, according to Bloomberg’s Jason Schreier. Those four studios closing are Arkane Austin, Tango Gameworks, Alpha Dog Studios, and Roundhouse Games.

Arkane Austin and Roundhouse Games both recently developed and launched Redfall in 2023, a game that has received mixed reviews since launch. Tango Gameworks’ most recent title was the well-received Hi-Fi Rush in 2023 while also being the studio behind Ghostwire: Tokyo and the The Evil Within franchise. Lastly, Alpha Dog is a studio known primarily for mobile games.

In an email obtained by IGN — that you can read in full below — Xbox Game Studios head Matt Booty said that the decision comes due to the “reprioritization of titles and resources” at Microsoft.

“Today I’m sharing changes we are making to our Bethesda and ZeniMax teams,” he said in the email. “These changes are grounded in prioritizing high-impact titles and further investing in Bethesda’s portfolio of blockbuster games and beloved worlds which you have nurtured over many decades.

“To double down on these franchises and invest to build new ones requires us to look across the business to identify the opportunities that are best positioned for success. This reprioritization of titles and resources means a few teams will be realigned to others and that some of our colleagues will be leaving us.”

Booty continues to say that “some members” of the team at Arkane Austin will be moving to other studios within Bethesda while the most recent update to Redfall will be the game’s last as all development is being ended.

“These changes are not a reflection of the creativity and skill of the talented individuals at these teams or the risks they took to try new things,” Booty said in the email. “I acknowledge that these changes are also disruptive to the various support teams across ZeniMax and Bethesda that bring our games to market. We are making these tough decisions to create capacity to increase investment in other parts of our portfolio and focus on our priority games.”

In a statement on Twitter after the announcement, Arkane Austin thanked all of its employees and players for the games it made while clarifying that Redfall’s servers will remain online. Tango Gameworks also released a statement.

The Roundhouse Games team will move to ZeniMax Online Studios. However, there was no mention in the email about anyone from Tango or Alpha Dog moving to other teams.

Insider Gaming has reached out to Microsoft for comment on the Xbox Studios closure.

Matt Booty Email To Xbox Studios Employees

Today I’m sharing changes we are making to our Bethesda and ZeniMax teams. These changes are grounded in prioritizing high-impact titles and further investing in Bethesda’s portfolio of blockbuster games and beloved worlds which you have nurtured over many decades.

To double down on these franchises and invest to build new ones requires us to look across the business to identify the opportunities that are best positioned for success. This reprioritization of titles and resources means a few teams will be realigned to others and that some of our colleagues will be leaving us.

Here are the changes going into effect:

Arkane Austin – This studio will close with some members of the team joining other studios to work on projects across Bethesda. Arkane Austin has a history of making impactful and innovative games and it is a pedigree that everyone should be proud of. Redfall’s previous update will be its last as we end all development on the game. The game and its servers will remain online for players to enjoy and we will provide make-good offers to players who purchased the Hero DLC.

Alpha Dog Studios – This studio will also close. We appreciate the team’s creativity in bringing Doom to new players. Mighty Doom will be sunset on August 7 and we will be turning off the ability for players to make any purchases in the game.

Tango Gameworks – Tango Gameworks will also close. We are thankful for their contributions to Bethesda and players around the world. Hi-Fi Rush will continue to be available to players on the platforms it is today.

Roundhouse Games – The team at Roundhouse Games will be joining ZeniMax Online Studios (ZOS). Roundhouse has played a key role in many of our recent game launches and bringing them into ZOS to work on The Elder Scrolls Online will mean we can do even more to grow the world that millions of players call home.

With this consolidation of our Bethesda studio teams, so that we can invest more deeply in our portfolio of games and new IP, a small number of roles across select Bethesda publishing and corporate teams will also be eliminated.

Those whose roles will be impacted will be notified today, and we ask that you please treat your departing colleagues with respect and compassion. We will provide our full support to those who are impacted in today’s notifications and through their transitions, including severance benefits informed by local laws.

These changes are not a reflection of the creativity and skill of the talented individuals at these teams or the risks they took to try new things. I acknowledge that these changes are also disruptive to the various support teams across ZeniMax and Bethesda that bring our games to market. We are making these tough decisions to create capacity to increase investment in other parts of our portfolio and focus on our priority games.

Bethesda remains one of the key pillars of Xbox with a strong portfolio of amazing games and thriving communities. As we look to the future, there is an impressive line-up of games on the horizon. In 2024 alone we have Starfield Shattered Space, Fallout 76 Skyline Valley, Indiana Jones and The Great Circle, and The Elder Scrolls Online’s Golden Road. As we align our plans and resources to best set ourselves up for success in this complex and changing industry, our teams across Arkane Lyon, Bethesda Game Studios, id Software, MachineGames, ZeniMax Online Studios and the Bethesda publishing and corporate teams will be well-positioned to build new IP, explore new game concepts, and expand on our existing franchises.

– Matt

Story Developing….

  1. That’s bullshit! Fire him and Phil already! Tango made a great game that held Xbox up barely last year, Roundhouse hasn’t been able to deliver a title, and there’s other studios that make trash like 343, Rare, Turn 10, Ninja Theory, Playground, Coalition, Undead Labs, just to name a few. I understand Arkane Austin but this is complete bull!

  2. Arkane I understand but Roundhouse never got to release anything and Tango had Evil Within 3 and Ghostwire 2 was it that bad without Mikami? Xbox closes their only Japan studio. This is completely a disaster. At what point is Phil and the others like Aaron, Matt, and Sarah when are they held accountable and fired then replaced with actual gaming execs.

  3. Are you for f real, Tango released good games and Hifi rush being amazing, did it underformed? Who knows, it was on game pass day one. The studio has talent, has great games and it released best exclusive on Xbox in years, but noooo, you have to restructure to release what? What actual f xbox games need more resources? The management is always wrong and keeps on failing while seimming in money, and people who actually do the job suffere. F u xbox and f u Phil

  4. Microsoft needs to buy EA they need better studios that’s the problem studios who can deliver faster and ABK is busy with COD.

  5. Xbox needs to buy another major publisher then appoint those people in charge

  6. We’re now four months into 2024 and the layoffs and closures keep coming. This shameful treatment of developers and other studio employees is unfortunately now the norm, regardless of whether the studios are shut down and employees laid off by Microsoft, Sony or another large company. Even if a game is a megahit, I doubt that’ll save some studios because companies don’t just want a hit, they want a hit that continues to make tons of $$ via Live Service and microtransactions. They want something gamers largely *don’t* want. They’re unwilling to accept that answer, and will keep cycling through studios and employees in a quest to create the next Fortnite cash cow.

    Not only are these closures and layoffs awful for the employees and their families, they’re awful for gaming. Many HS and college kids are going to look at this churn and increasing lack of job security and ask themselves, “Why should I go into any aspect of video game development when I can use my skills in a job that has better security and pays just as well, if not better?” We’re going to lose a lot of talented people because they don’t want to live through constant job insecurity that’s far worse than it’s ever been in gaming. These companies, and their shareholders, are going to drive gaming off a cliff. Even last year’s supposed great year for gaming was only great for a relative handful of games and companies.

  7. Tango being shut down is the most devastating news out of the 4. Hi-Fi Rush is easily one of the most polished and refreshing games that have been released in a while and the Evil Within games are great cheesy horror fun. I hope the talented devs at that studio can form a new one or, at least, get work elsewhere asap

  8. Microsoft hire Cliff Bleszinski already! Get someone who knows what they’re doing! Bring in Andrew House to replace Phil and let Andrew get full control to fire all these people! Bring Sheamus Blackley back and Ed Fries. Hire David Jaffe, hire John Tobias, get people who know how to make games!

    1. This isn’t really about games. This is about shareholders and money.

      On April 21, XBox’s Aaron Greenberg pushed back on a report by Jeff Grubb that claimed Hi-Fi Rush failed to meet sales targets. Greenberg refuted Grubb’s report and tweeted that Hi-Fi Rush was a “breakout hit” and Tango’s future was “bright.” Three weeks later, Tango’s gone. It appears Grubb’s report was correct. Hi-Fi Rush didn’t meet whatever sales target Microsoft set. The easiest, cheapest, and sadly now “normal” thing to do is to shut down the developer, lay everybody off and move on to the next “big thing.”

      Microsoft, Sony, EA, Ubisoft, and nearly every other major company in gaming is chasing the same thing: A self sustaining cash cow like Fortnite or GTA Online.

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