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Xbox wants games like ‘Hi-Fi Rush’ despite closing studio that made it

May 9th, 2024

On Tuesday May 7, Matt Booty, the head of Xbox Game Studios, told four Bethesda studios they were being shuttered. One day later, May 8, he said in a town hall meeting that Xbox “need[s] smaller games that give prestige and awards.” One of the studio’s closed was Hi-Fi Rush developer Tango Gameworks.

This is confusing messaging from Xbox leadership. In Booty’s original message to staff announcing the closure of Tango, Redfall‘s Arkane Austin, Alpha Dog Games, and Roundhouse Studios, it’s reported he wrote Microsoft want to “prioritise high-impact titles” and “further invest in Bethesda’s portfolio of blockbuster games and beloved worlds which you have nurtured over many decades.”

Yesterday’s message, reported by The Verge, that Xbox needs smaller games that win awards, could be considered in opposition with the first even before you acknowledge the studio closures that just occured. But, once you do factor those in, it seems like leadership doesn’t know what it wants. Hi-Fi Rush won several awards and Aaron Greenberg, vice president of Xbox games marketing, wrote that it was a “break out hit for us and our players in all key measurements and expectations.” NME‘s review called it “a shockwave of creativity.”

Hi-Fi Rush. Credit: Tango Gameworks.

The closure of a studio with a pedigree like Arkane Austin (which developed Prey) seems to show to developers that one flop can shutter them. Redfall was not met with critical or fan praise, but it was in active development right up until the moment the studio was closed.

It was reported that Redfall development was hampered by understaffing following many experienced devs leaving as they didn’t want to work on a multiplayer game. It is reported that the push came from above, not from developer desires.

In other news, Hades 2 has been a huge success for Supergiant Games, hitting over 100,000 concurrent players in its first two days.

 

This content was originally sourced and posted at NME »
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