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Microsoft Axes Hi-Fi Rush Sequel and Closes Studios to Refocus on Major Titles

  • Ethan Turner
  • May 13, 2024
  • 20
Microsoft Axes Hi-Fi Rush Sequel and Closes Studios to Refocus on Major Titles

Tango Gameworks had proposed a Hi-Fi Rush follow-up prior to its cessation; however, Xbox deemed its studios as overly extended.

It came to light earlier in the week (May 7) that Microsoft planned to cease operations of four Bethesda Softworks branches, including Tango Gameworks and Arkane Austin, recognized for their work on Redfall, Dishonored, and Prey.

Matty Booty, leading Xbox Game Studios, is said to have explained in an electronic message to employees that the cessation stems from a focus on prioritizing titles with significant impact and doubling down on investment in Bethesda’s array of high-profile games and cherished universes. He stated this forms part of a strategic "reprioritization of titles and resources," resulting in the realignment of several teams.

A recent Bloomberg article, attributing information to unnamed sources, disclosed that Tango Gameworks was in the midst of proposing a sequel. However, at a May 8 town hall for ZeniMax employees, Booty purportedly voiced concerns that Microsoft’s studio network was overly dispersed, comparing it to spreading "peanut butter on bread."

With a general consensus of being understaffed among the leadership, the decision was made to disband Tango and Arkane Austin to redirect resources.

Furthermore, Booty clarified that the discontinuation of Arkane Austin was not due to the lackluster performance of its most recent multiplayer venture, Redfall, despite its unsuccessful launch the previous year. It appears the studio's closure was imminent just as a significant upgrade for the game was expected to be announced.

Furthermore, Arkane Austin showed enthusiasm for developing a new project, potentially revisiting their foundational immersive sim genre with an innovative, independent title, possibly continuing the Dishonored series. Both projects were in the preliminary phases of creation and far from completion when the studios were gradually shut down.

In the wake of these closures, The Verge uncovered that Microsoft has contemplated raising the cost of Xbox Game Pass, particularly the Ultimate version. This investigation also uncovered ongoing internal discussions about whether future Call of Duty releases should be included in the Xbox Game Pass repertoire.

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