Microsoft Announces Closure of Arkane Austin, Tango Gameworks, Additional Studios

Microsoft bit back, more than they can chew.



Microsoft has disclosed plans to discontinue operations at four game development studios, including Arkane Austin, Tango Gameworks, Alpha Dog Studios, and Roundhouse Games. The decision comes shortly after the one-year milestone of the release of Redfall, signaling a notable transition in Microsoft’s gaming portfolio. Matt Booty, head of Xbox Game Studios, sent an email to IGN where it was stated that Microsoft was reprioritizing titles and resources in a cost-cutting measure.

Redfall, a title from the distinguished Arkane Austin, experienced a challenging release with mixed reception and a limited player base. Despite efforts to enhance the game with updates, promised additional content including new characters will not be delivered. Instead, players will receive a refund as compensation. You can read more about the Redfall Credit program here.

The decision to close Tango Gameworks comes as a surprise given the studio’s recent success with Hi-Fi Rush. The critically acclaimed platformer earned numerous accolades and was one of Xbox’s standout titles this generation. The departure of CEO and founder Shinji Mikami in February 2023 may have contributed to this outcome.

Alpha Dog Studios, known for Wrathborne ARPG, and Roundhouse Games, established in 2021 under Bethesda Game Studios, will also cease operations. Reports suggest that Roundhouse Games may integrate with Zenimax Online, avoiding a full closure.

Arkane Austin’s development process for Redfall saw multiple revisions and significant staffing changes. The studio’s closure affects employees, some of whom may transition to other Bethesda teams. Tango Gameworks’ closure is particularly unexpected given the studio’s recent accomplishments, raising questions about the reasoning behind the decision.

Microsoft’s decision aligns with a broader trend of industry restructuring and workforce reductions taking place across many respectable well known dev companies. While the gaming community awaits further clarification on these developments, the impact of these changes on Xbox’s overall strategy remains to be seen.

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