Microsoft Shuts Down Major Game Studios, Including Redfall and Hi-Fi Rush Developers

game studio charts under microsoft

In a surprising move (or perhaps not so surprising given recent trends), Microsoft has announced the closure of several game studios under ZeniMax Media and its development unit Bethesda Game Studios:

The affected studios include:

  • Arkane Austin (Redfall developers)
  • Tango Gameworks (Hi-Fi Rush developers)
  • Alpha Dog Games (Mighty Doom developers)
  • Roundhouse Games (The Elder Scrolls Online)

Some staff will be relocated to other studios, while certain teams face complete dissolution.

Why Were These Studios Closed?

According to the email from Matt Booty, the head of Xbox Game Studios, the closures were due to a “re-prioritization of titles and resources.”

“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.”

So officially we can say that Microsoft likely made this decision to streamline operations and focus on the studios and projects that they deemed more critical to their long-term gaming strategy.

However, when considering the broader context, this decision is not unexpected given the recent trend of mass studio closures and layoffs in the video game industry over the past 18 months.

Earlier this year, Microsoft laid off 1,900 employees across Xbox Game Studios and shut down many studios even its physical game division.

The industry has been experiencing a wave of restructuring and cost-cutting measures as companies adapt to changing market conditions and prioritize resource allocation.

What Happens to the Games in Development?

The fates of the games developed by these studios vary:


  • Development of this vampire co-op shooter has been halted, and the game’s previous update will be its last.
  • However, servers will remain online for existing players, and those who purchased the Hero DLC will receive “make-good offers.”

Hi-Fi Rush:

  • Recently part of the multi-platform strategy, Hi-Fi Rush will remain available on existing platforms, but no further development or support is planned.

Mighty Doom:

  • The mobile game will be sunset on August 7, and in-game purchases will be disabled.

Impact on Bethesda and Future Plans

While acknowledging the disruption caused by these closures, Matt Booty emphasized that Bethesda remains a crucial pillar for Xbox, with a strong lineup of upcoming games.

These include Starfield Shattered Space, Fallout 76 Skyline Valley, Indiana Jones and The Great Circle, and The Elder Scrolls Online’s Golden Road, all scheduled for release in 2024.

Booty stated that the remaining studios, such as Arkane Lyon, Bethesda Game Studios, id Software, MachineGames, and ZeniMax Online Studios, will focus on developing new IPs, exploring new game concepts, and expanding existing franchises.

Source: IGN

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