Xbox Shuts Down Multiple Game Studios In Major Bethesda Shakeup

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In a surprising move, Microsoft's Xbox division is closing several Bethesda studios, with Xbox Game Studios head Matt Booty stating that these moves are based on a “reprioritization of titles and resources.” The affected studios include Arkane Austin, Tango Gameworks, and Alpha Dog Games. Meanwhile, Roundhouse studios staff will be shifted over to ZeniMax Online Studios.

Arkane Austin makes the most sense of the closures that are taking place, with the studio’s latest title, Redfall, being universally panned by critics and gamers alike. Unfortunately for players who bought an edition of the game that includes DLC, it seems as if that part of the purchase will go unfulfilled. Booty told staff that “Redfall’s previous update will be its last as we end all development on the game.” However, it appears Xbox will attempt to make it right for these customers in some way in the future.

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In contrast, the closure of Tango Gameworks makes absolutely no sense. The studio released Hi-Fi Rush to much acclaim last year, completely surprising everyone in the gaming community. It’s a game that even managed to snag a BAFTA award this year, and is being ported to other platforms. For the developers to have this type of success and still get shutdown is a gut-punch for the industry.

The moves brought on the ire of Dinga Bakaba, head of Arkane Lyon, who posted on social media in a message to executives that “your business as a corporation is to take care of your artists/entertainers and help them create value for you.” He would go on to add that “you say we make you proud when we make a good game. Make us proud when times are tough. We know you can, we seen it before.”

It has been a tough year for game developers, with stories of closures and layoffs being the dominant theme of 2024. Hopefully these businesses can find some steady ground and the bleeding can stop sometime soon.