Xbox Leaderships Closes Arkane Austin, Alpha Dog Games, Tango Gameworks, And Roundhouse Studios

Posted on May 7, 2024 by Nick Moreno

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One of the biggest appeals for Xbox despite its current placement in the console race is the number of talent and properties at its disposal. While short on games this generation – much like its competition honestly – there is a vault of franchises the firm can release. With its prior purchases for Bethesda as well as the newest Activision Blizzard acquisition, the firm is equipped to do as such.

However, instead we have witnessed record layoffs in the industry. Especially at Microsoft, there has been a steady flow of firings at the Xbox firm. We saw this with the decision in early 2024 severing plenty of staff including at Activision. Additionally, reports also reveal that this decision also came to Xbox even dismantling its physical retail sector as well.

Now this week, a new report from IGN reveals that much of its buying power used to purchase Zenimax Media is to now be closing more studios. In total, four developers are to be no more: Tango Gameworks, Alpha Dog Games, Arkane Austin, and Roundhouse Studios. The outlet also provided the email sent out from Xbox Game Studios head Matt Booty.

Today I’m sharing changes we are making to our Bethesda and ZeniMax teams. 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.”

The email continues: “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. – Matt.”

Among the wreckage that Microsoft has put upon itself, the most surprising is the decision to axe Tango Gameworks. One of the biggest perks of the Bethesda acquisition was to focus in on its effort in Japan. With Tango Gameworks – then-spearheaded by Shinji Mikami -the Xbox firm shared a new endeavor to explore more opportunities within the market in the east.

Furthermore, Tango Gameworks was also tied into Xbox’s latest move to ship select first-party titles on PlayStation & Nintendo. In that, Hi-Fi Rush shipped in March for PlayStation 5. What’s more is that new evidence shares plans for a Nintendo Switch version according to recent ratings online. You can read the full report by heading here.

What do you think about the latest decision from Microsoft?

Source: IGN

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