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Microsoft to shut down Arkane Austin, Tango Gameworks, and more due to a "reprioritization of titles and resources"

Those two studios and more to be shuttered in a shocking and sudden development.

Microsoft is shutting down several studios under its umbrella, including Tango Gameworks (Hi-Fi Rush), Arkane Austin (Redfall), Alpha Dog Games (Mighty Doom) and Roundhouse Games. This news was broken to staff suddenly via an email sent by Matt Booty, the head of Xbox Game Studios.

Broken first by IGN, this move was made due to a "reprioritization of titles and resources" in the company. The same company that laid of several staff following the acquisiton of Activision Blizzard.

Arkane Austin's closing will leave some staff to join other teams where room is available. The rest will be uncerimoniasly unemployed. Tango Gameworks will close without any job lifeboats, the same goes for Alpha Dog Games. Roundhouse Games will be rolled into and ultimately engulfed by Zenimax Online Studios.

Matt Booty, after describing the fates of the four studios, writes the following in his email: "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."

Booty continues: "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."

This is rancid news, marking yet another major sweep of layoffs in the video game industry in recent memory. All studios were doubtless full of talented staff as Booty's email notes, but you can't help but look at Tango Gameworks - creators of Hi-FI Rush ,one of our games of the year in 2023 and winner of various industry awards - and feel deep frustration. Our thoughts are with those affected by these layoffs.

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