Microsoft closes four studios including Redfall’s Arkane Austin and Hi-Fi Rush’s Tango Gameworks

Microsoft has announced it is closing down four developers in a process of reprioritisation of titles and resources that focuses on high-impact games.

The closures will include Arkane Austin, the studio responsible for Redfall, Tango Gameworks, which produced Hi-Fi Rush, Alpha Dog Games, and Roundhouse Games.

This announcement was made via an email to staff from Head of Xbox Game Studios Matt Booty and comes amid Microsoft’s plans to release 1,900 workers following the merger with Activision Blizzard King.

In the email Booty noted that Microsoft was further investing in Bethesda’s portfolio of blockbuster games and beloved worlds and that many of the members of the closing developers will be folded into other studios.

For Arkane Austin, some members will join other teams to work on projects across Bethesda while Roundhouse Games will be folded into ZeniMax Online to assist with The Elders Scrolls Online.

Booty also stressed that the closures have nothing to do with the skill of the impacted developers.

“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,” said Booty.

“We are making these tough decisions to create capacity to increase investment in other parts of our portfolio and focus on our priority games.”

However, the head of Arkane Lyon, Arkane Austin’s sister studio, Dinga Bakaba, was less than thrilled with the closures.

“This is absolutely terrible. Permission to be human: to any executive reading this, friendly reminder that video games are an entertainment/cultural industry, and your business as a corporation is to take care of your artists/entertainers and help them create value for you,” Bakaba said in a series of Tweets.

“For now, great teams are sunsetting before our eyes again, and it’s a fucking gut stab. Lyon is safe, but please be tactful and discerning about all this, and respect affected folks’ voice and leave it room to be heard, it’s their story to tell, their feelings to express.”

In terms of how this will impact players, Redfall players who purchased the Hero Pass as a part of the premium Bite Back Edition or its upgrade will recieve a “make-good” offer.

This is as Redfall will not receive promised updates such as an offline mode and new character DLC.

However, the game’s servers will remain online so players will stilled be able to play Redfall – for now.

Hi-Fi Rush from Tango Gameworks will unsurprisingly remain available to players around the world, however, Alpha Dog Studio’s Mighty Doom will be sunset on 7 August with in-game purchases turned off.

Booty concluded the email by noting that this was not a lightly made choice and that Bethesda is a key pillar in Microsoft’s portfolio with many excellent games coming soon.

“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,” said Booty.

“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.”

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Microsoft closes four studios including Redfall’s Arkane Austin and Hi-Fi Rush’s Tango Gameworks

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