Xbox Is Shutting Down Arkane Austin, Tango Gameworks, And More

By admin May7,2024

Xbox is closing Arkane Austin, Tango Gameworks, and more under Bethesda, according to IGN. Alpha Dog Games, which is behind last year’s mobile Mighty Doom, is being closed as well, according to the report. Roundhouse Games is also affected, but it will be absorbed by The Elder Scrolls Online team ZeniMax Online Studios. 

Tango has confirmed the news online, with a thank you to its fans: 

Arkane Austin has followed suit, confirming the news online as well alongside word that players who purchased Redfall’s Hero Pass will be eligible “to receive the value of the upgrade.” Here’s the studio’s statement: 

These closures arrive after Tango delivered the extremely well-received Hi-Fi Rush last year a few months before Arkane Austin released Redfall, which unfortunately didn’t pan out as expected, with both critics and fans disappointed in the first-person vampire shooter from the studio behind the Dishonored series

IGN learned of these closures in emails sent to staff by Xbox Game Studios head Matt Booty, where the executive cited reprioritization as the reason for the closures. Here is the email, in full: 

“Today, I’m sharing changes we are making to our Bethesda and ZeniMax teams. These changes. These changes are grounded in prioritizing high-impact titles and further investing in Bethesda’s portfolio of blockbuster games and beloved worlds which you have nurtured over many decades. 

To double down on these franchises and invest to build new ones requires us to look across the business to identify the opportunities that are best positioned for success. This reprioritization of titles and resources means a few teams will be realigned to others and that some of our colleagues will be leaving us.

Here are the changes going into effect:

Arkane Austin – This studio will close with some members of the team joining other studios to work on projects across Bethesda. Arkane Austin has a history of making impactful and innovative games and it is a pedigree that everyone should be proud of. Redfall’s previous update will be its last as we end all development on the game. The game and its servers will remain online for players to enjoy and we will provide make-good offers to players who purchased the Hero DLC.

Alpha Dog Studios – This studio will also close. We appreciate the team’s creativity in bringing Doom to new players. Mighty Doom will be sunset on August 7 and we will be turning off the ability for players to make any purchases in the game.

Tango Gameworks – Tango Gameworks will also close. We are thankful for their contributions to Bethesda and players around the world. Hi-Fi Rush will continue to be available to players on the platforms it is today.

Roundhouse Games – The team at Roundhouse Games will be joining ZeniMax Online Studios (ZOS). Roundhouse has played a key role in many of our recent game launches and bringing them into ZOS to work on The Elder Scrolls Online will mean we can do even more to grow the world that millions of players call home.

With this consolidation of our Bethesda studio teams, so that we can invest more deeply in our portfolio of games and new IP, a small number of roles across select Bethesda publishing and corporate teams will also be eliminated.

Those whose roles will be impacted will be notified today, and we ask that you please treat your departing colleagues with respect and compassion. We will provide our full support to those who are impacted in today’s notifications and through their transitions, including severance benefits informed by local laws.

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.

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.”

Game Informer has reached out to Xbox and Bethesda for comment and will update this story if it learns more. 

Arkane Austin is one half of the Bethesda-owned Arkane Studios, the other half being Arkane Lyon. Both studios often work together on Arkane games, but Arkane Austin led the charge on titles like Redfall and 2017’s Prey while Arkane Lyon is behind 2021’s Deathloop and the in-development Marvel’s Blade game. 

Arkane Lyon studio director and Marvel’s Blade creative director Dinga Bakaba posted on X (formerly Twitter) shortly after news of Arkane Austin’s closing hit the internet to explain his frustration and sadness: 

“This is absolutely terrible,” Bakaba writes. “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.” 

He continues, “Don’t throw us into gold fever gambits, don’t use us as strawmen for miscalculations/blind spots, don’t make our work environment darwinist jungles. 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.” 

You can read Bakaba’s full thread below: 

Tango released Hi-Fi Rush as a surprise “out today” game during an Xbox Developer Direct in January of last year, and the game recently came to PlayStation 5. Before Hi-Fi Rush, Tango released Ghostwire: Tokyo, and outside of those two games, it is perhaps best known for The Evil Within series


These studio closures join a string of other disheartening 2024 closures and layoffs, which now total more than 10,000 in just the first five months of this year. 

Last week, Take-Two Interactive closed Rollerdrome studio Roll7 and Kerbal Space Program 2 studio Intercept Games alongside major layoffs to its indie-publisher Private Division label. That same week, we learned Deliver Us Mars developer Keoken Interactive had laid off nearly its entire staff

Elsewhere in the year, EA laid off roughly 670 employees across all departments, resulting in the cancellation of Respawn’s Star Wars FPS game. PlayStation laid off 900 employees across Insomniac, Naughty Dog, Guerrilla, and more, closing down London Studio in the process, too. The day before, Until Dawn developer Supermassive Games announced it laid off 90 employees

At the end of January, we learned Embracer Group had canceled a new Deus Ex game in development at Eidos-Montréal and laid off 97 employees in the process. Also in January, Destroy All Humans remake developer Black Forest Games reportedly laid off 50 employees and Microsoft announced it was laying off 1,900 employees across its Xbox, Activision Blizzard, and ZeniMax teams, as well. Outriders studio People Can Fly laid off more than 30 employees in January, and League of Legends company Riot Games laid off 530 employees

Lords of the Fallen Publisher CI Games laid off 10 percent of its staffUnity will lay off 1,800 people by the end of March, and Twitch laid off 500 employees

We also learned that Discord had laid off 170 employees, that layoffs happened at PTW, a support studio that’s worked with companies like Blizzard and Capcom, and that SteamWorld Build company, Thunderful Group, let go of roughly 100 people. Dead by Daylight developer Behaviour Interactive also reportedly laid off 45 people, too

[Source: IGN]


How do you feel about these closures? Let us know in the comments below!

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