why fi rush

Xbox Has Reportedly Said It Wants Smaller, Award-Winning Games The Day After Closing Tango Gameworks

Make it make sense.

Xbox is still fielding one of its biggest public image nightmares in recent memory after it was revealed that it made the decision to close a number of Bethesda’s studios, including Prey and Redfall developer Arkane Austin as well as Tango Gameworks, which produced last year’s incredible Hi-Fi RUSH among the likes of Ghostwire: Tokyo and The Evil Within.

Now, Ash Parrish at The Verge has reported on a particularly frustrating detail with the head of Xbox Game Studios, Matt Booty, allegedly highlighting a need for smaller, award-winning games in a town hall held with ZeniMax/Bethesda staff the very next day to discuss the future of Xbox.

“We need smaller games that give us prestige and awards,” employees were reportedly told according to information shared with the outlet. A noble goal, sure, but one that flies pretty swiftly in the face of the news that Tango, which had produced a small, prestigious and award-winning game just last year, was put on the chopping block.

It’s another very curious insight into the situation at Tango Gameworks, with the company publicly praising Hi-Fi RUSH on multiple occasions, very recently porting it to PlayStation and even responding to doubts about its commercial success with VP of Xbox Games Marketing, Aaron Greenberg, having previously said, “Hi-Fi RUSH was a break out hit for us and our players in all key measurements and expectations. We couldn’t be happier with what the team at Tango Gameworks delivered with this surprise release.”

Bloomberg has also reported more details around this town hall with ZeniMax staff, saying that Booty praised Hi-Fi Rush but wasn’t able or willing to specify why the company had chosen Tango as a candidate for closure. Booty had apparently said that the division was spread too thin, and that the cuts were made to free up resources and lessen the load on leadership.

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Jill Braff, head of ZeniMax studios, has been recorded (as heard by Bloomberg) as saying in the town hall, “It’s hard to support nine studios all across the world with a lean central team with an ever-growing plate of things to do,” adding, “I think we were about to topple over.”