Xbox Series X

Xbox Is Closing Multiple Studios Including Arkane Austin And Tango Gameworks


  • Prey
  • Redfall
  • Dishonored
  • Mighty DOOM
  • The Evil Within
  • GhostWire: Tokyo
  • Hi-Fi RUSH

These are just some of the games, many with long lists of award nominations and wins, created by or worked on by the immensely talented creative teams under Bethesda that are now being shuttered for good.

In yet another massive blow to talented and hardworking folks in the games industry, Xbox is closing the doors on Arkane Austin, Tango Gameworks and Alpha Dog Games, as well as absorbing Roundhouse Studios into ZeniMax Online Studios. This comes just a few months after the company announced it was laying off 1,900 staff across Xbox, Bethesda and Activision Blizzard – though it hasn’t confirmed whether or not this latest change is a part of that action.

According to an internal email from head of Xbox Games Studios, Matt Booty, which was shared by IGN, it was a decision made based on a “reprioritisation” of its development resources and a focus on “high-impact titles.”

Looking at that list above you’ll see evidence of studios more than capable of creating what I would describe as high impact titles, and have done so on multiple occasions, but here we are. According to the memo, some staff affected will be repositioned on other projects within other teams, but there will be layoffs involved as well, including within Bethesda’s wider publishing and corporate teams.

“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,” the internal message reads.

“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.”

Booty also adds that the remaining teams at Arkane Lyon, Bethesda Game Studios, id Software, MachineGames and ZeniMax Online Studios as well as (what’s left of) the Bethesda publishing and corporate teams will be “well-positioned to build new IP, explore new game concepts, and expand on our existing franchises,” much like what the shuttered studios had been doing successfully up until this point.

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As for how this affects the titles from these studios, games like Hi-Fi RUSH will remain available as they are now and on the platforms that they are now, including Game Pass, however with the closure of Arkane Austin comes some pretty significant changes to Redfall and similarly with Mighty DOOM.

Redfall will no longer be receiving updates or any of the content promised in its Hero Pass, though online servers will remain. Players have been given an avenue to claim a credit for the value of the upgrades and special editions in which the Hero Pass was purchased. Mighty DOOM’s servers will be shutting down on August 7th, and Alpha Dog Games has removed the ability to purchase in-game currency as a result.

Despite the studio remaining open, Arkane Lyon’s studio/creative director, Dinga Bakaba, hasn’t held back on social media, writing, “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.”

“…great teams are sunsetting before our eyes again, and it’s a fucking gut stab.”