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Xbox Shuts Down Arkane Austin, Tango, and Alpha Dog; Roundhouse to Join ZeniMax Online

Xbox Shuts Down Arkane Austin, Tango, and Alpha Dog; Roundhouse to Join ZeniMax Online - News

by William D'Angelo , posted on 07 May 2024 / 3,179 Views

Microsoft Gaming president of game content and studios Matt Booty in email sent to employees announced Bethesda will be shutting down Redfall developer Arkane Austin, Hi-Fi RUSH and The Evil Within developer Tango Gameworks, and Mighty DOOM developer Alpha Dog Studios. Roundhouse Games is also joining ZeniMax Online Studios.

Read the full email via IGN below:

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.
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

Read messages from the three studios shutting down below:


A life-long and avid gamer, William D'Angelo was first introduced to VGChartz in 2007. After years of supporting the site, he was brought on in 2010 as a junior analyst, working his way up to lead analyst in 2012 and taking over the hardware estimates in 2017. He has expanded his involvement in the gaming community by producing content on his own YouTube channel and Twitch channel. You can contact the author on Twitter @TrunksWD.


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55 Comments
Qwark (on 07 May 2024)

Schutting down Tango Gameworks is quite the surprise an unwelcome one at that.

  • +20
XDKrieg33 Qwark (on 07 May 2024)

I knew this would happen after the flop of tokyo ghost wire and hi fi rush (commercial failure not critical failure)

  • -5
Shatts XDKrieg33 (on 07 May 2024)

Then they lied cuz they literally said they were pleased with the sales of Hifi Rush last year. "break out hit", " couldn't be happier with tango", "exceeded our expectations". Xbox fans were backing that claim too when others said Hifi Rush was a commercial failure. So which one is it?

  • +13
JRPGfan XDKrieg33 (on 07 May 2024)

both are good games though.... like this is very differnt from the Redfall mess.

  • +7
Shatts (on 07 May 2024)

No wonder Microsoft can't make good games. They shutdown ones that do! Won't even invest for the future. They have the money yet all they care about is even more money, shame on them!

  • +17
NoLimitVito (on 07 May 2024)

Amazing, imagine cheering for more big publisher buy outs.

Next up on the hit list Studios within ABK, stay tuned.

  • +12
Mozart1511 (on 07 May 2024)

Sometimes I think that the managers of Microsoft's gaming division have a disorder.

Why close studios with great stories and talent without at least investing and giving the team the opportunity to develop the best?

What is the point of closing Tango? It's Microsoft's only Japanese studio! The idea would be to expand the division to the eastern side, either by buying studios or building studios.

I am simply outraged by Microsoft's stance. I expected more! Even more so with the success of Hi Fi Rush.

  • +10
Geralt99 (on 07 May 2024)

Snakeoil sales man aka Phil Spencer strikes again.
Wonder how long he can keep up his "Good guy" image.

  • +8
The Fury (on 07 May 2024)

The black messages with white borders really shows how corporate this was. Why do I think MS provided those?

  • +7
JRPGfan (on 07 May 2024)

why close Tango Gameworks tho?

  • +7
Imaginedvl JRPGfan (on 07 May 2024)

Yes this is very surprising to me too. I mean, they have their reason obviously and we have no idea about the numbers but I definitely did not expect that; unlike Arkane Austin.
Still a very sad news anyway; people losing their jobs is never a good thing.

  • 0
Leynos (on 07 May 2024)

Anyone who even attempts to defend Phil Spencer anymore is a fucking moron. Just keeps proving I'm justified in shitting on this asshole.

  • +6
Azzanation Leynos (on 08 May 2024)

Its Capitalism bro. Its what happens when money isnt coming back in.

  • -1
firebush03 Azzanation (on 08 May 2024)

Correction: It’s business owners not knowing how to run their business. They focus too hard on short-term profits so as to please investors. You can easily look towards Nintendo as an example of long-term >> short-term, and see the success they’ve gotten under capitalism.

  • +1
Azzanation firebush03 (on 08 May 2024)

Nintendo doesnt have a parant company to anwser to

  • 0
firebush03 Azzanation (on 08 May 2024)

I'll be a little more explicit for you: The parent company is run by somebody who is very out-of-touch with video games. Not smart to drop the talent which makes your console sell.

  • +1
Azzanation firebush03 (on 09 May 2024)

Thats majority of parent companies. They don't know the ins or outs, they just invest money. When the money isn't coming back in, they review the situation.

  • -1
firebush03 Azzanation (on 09 May 2024)

(are you downvoting your own comment and upvoting mine? You posted 15min ago but somehow already have a downvote lol.)

  • 0
TheTitaniumNub (on 07 May 2024)

Tango?? Noooooo, bruh. So my hopes for an Evil Within 3 has been squashed?

  • +6
Azzanation TheTitaniumNub (on 08 May 2024)

They still own the IP

  • 0
TheTitaniumNub Azzanation (on 08 May 2024)

I know, and while I will highly appreciate if we do still get an Evil Within 3, I just hope it would be as good as what Tango would have put out.

  • 0
Azzanation TheTitaniumNub (on 08 May 2024)

The previous games didnt sell well unfortunately. I love them but Tango wasnt it.

  • 0
TheTitaniumNub Azzanation (on 08 May 2024)

They deserved much more love from fans, Evil Within 2 had such a great story, even if the mechanics were maybe dumbed down a bit from the first. A lot of people like the first more, and I get why, but I just loved EW2 so much.

  • 0
Azzanation TheTitaniumNub (on 09 May 2024)

Alot of great companies close their doors. Dont forget, Xbox still own the IPs. The games are not dead.

  • 0
Ayla (on 07 May 2024)

Tango? Come on now Microsoft. This was probably their best studio putting out hit after hit.

  • +4
XDKrieg33 Ayla (on 07 May 2024)

But failed commercially

  • +1
Leynos XDKrieg33 (on 07 May 2024)

Maybe they should've marketed it. MS sent it to die

  • +1
SecondWar XDKrieg33 (on 07 May 2024)

Tango’s last two games were straight to Gamepass so could be considered loss leaders, the point was to get content for Gamepass.
Plus Tokyo has the year exclusivity with PlayStation so that’s a bit different and harder to judge commercially.

  • +1
Dallinor (on 08 May 2024)

Dont worry guys, Microsoft is going to be:

'A better work environment'
'Fund smaller and dormant IP'
'A win for the industry.'

Those cheering on billion dollar buyouts and reading 200 page court documents. Here's the result of that consolidation. Thousands unemployed, studios shut down and all their focus now shifted to the AAA games those publishers had. This isn't the end, either.

But hey, if it gets more games on gamepass, right?

  • +3
firebush03 Dallinor (on 08 May 2024)

It’s hilarious how last year, there were some who had this exact sentiment revolving around the ABK buyout, and yet they were bashed into the silence…but now, the popular opinion has come back in their favor.

  • +1
zero129 (on 07 May 2024)

Wow this sucks, no excuse for this i mean tango wtf are ms thinking??.

  • +3
TheLegendaryBigBoss (on 07 May 2024)

Did not expect that. Very sad news

  • +3
trunkswd (on 07 May 2024)

As all are saying already this is a shock. Especially with Tango shutting down.

This makes me worried for other smaller teams at Xbox. Booty saying "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" makes me think they are going to focus on bigger IPs at Bethesda like The Elder Scrolls, Fallout, Doom, Wolfenstein, and Quake.

  • +3
Mozart1511 trunkswd (on 07 May 2024)

Booty needs to come out. Apart from the drop in console sales, the XBox division had an increase in revenue, even without Activision, revenue would still be stable, that is, there were no financial losses. It was a shitty decision, which was certainly made under pressure from investors. The company cannot give in to pressure from investors every quarter... you don't hire talent so easily, you don't create a favorable work environment with unknown people, in short, if it was a good decision just for the dividends, then it was something Stupid.

This is why people are against corporations, because there really isn't one that doesn't think twice before firing people.

  • +1
trunkswd Mozart1511 (on 07 May 2024)

The thing is I've listened to the investor calls over the last couple of years and none of them ever ask about Xbox/gaming. They always ask about the cloud and AI. This is probably coming down from the financial people at Microsoft going to the higher ups at Xbox forcing them to cut costs and to focus on IPs that have historically sold well.

  • +1
Esparadrapo trunkswd (on 07 May 2024)

If the financial people are asking for anything to the Xbox execs is "Where's the money Lebowski?". The Xbox fandom is under the impression that Microsoft was going to keep sinking money into the division until the end of time. Everything failed and I mean everything. Series is not selling, Game Pass stagnated and they have no way out because making anything Zenimax or ABK exclusive is going to make them lose even more money.

  • +3
The Fury trunkswd (on 08 May 2024)

It's only ever been about the IPs when it comes to MS buying publishers.

Before they went on the buying publishers for billions they seemed to want to buy studios for a few hundred mil. Double Fine, Obsidian, Ninja Theory, to name a few. Were these studios purchased to give them added development teams to bolster their game library for GP or in general?

However, that takes time. Ninja Theory's next title for them is a sequel to what was an smaller project and is certainly not on the scale of God of War (anyone actually remember Bleeding Edge?). Double Fine have yet to release anything of any significance and Obsidian has outputted great titles but not GP sells. Avowed may be good and I look forward to Outer Worlds 2 when it arrives.

But then Bethesda purchase arrived. Within days all Bethesda IPs were on GP. "GP has DOOM now!"

Doom Eternal wasn't even 6 months old at the time and probably still had good revenue coming in but it seemed more important to get it on GP .

If anything with this, I'm more surprised they didn't just give these studios a known IP to work on, instead of ditching them.

  • 0
mutantsushi (on 07 May 2024)

The thing to me is what were they ever doing involved with Tango?
Nobody could believe those would be some mass seller like biggest Western games.
That doesn´t they aren´t profitable etc (esp. going to Playstation and Switch).
But to pull out when there wasn´t ever a significantly better scenario is management failure.

Overall, it´s a bad look and it´s reasonable to ask why they bought them in the first place.
Why not just buy the IP they want, and specific studios to go along with that, and leave the rest?
The remaining company would have more than enough money to keep the rest going,
while paying out the vast majority of the purchase price to previous owners,
maybe eventually selling the remainder to some other small publisher.

  • +2
LivncA_Dis3 (on 08 May 2024)

That's what happens when fcken Microsoft don't pay attention to their newly purchased products,

After buying em they ain't gonna fcken watch em like a hawk like Sony does with their recent purchases...

Nah Microsoft let them do whatever they want coz they have infinite money until now that is...

  • +1
smroadkill15 (on 07 May 2024)

Tango getting shut down sucks. No other way around it.

  • +1
Angelv577 (on 08 May 2024)

xbox glory days are over.

  • 0
SuntannedDuck2 (on 07 May 2024)

Blockbuster titles so to the audience that LOVES smaller games we get the middle finger and so do the studios that make them. Thanks Microsoft/Bethesda.

Oh PlayStation sales weren't enough/didn't come soon enough for them but can't wait for Switch sales. So they need to save money for the financial reports to look go. Like come on how much lacking of patience can they have it's just disappointing.

Glad Toys for Bob left ABK so they don't get killed off. Creative studios need to survive.

Hi Fi Rush is great, good by Tango/Microsoft's Japanese chance of studios I guess. Arkane Austin it is unfortunate to hear about.

I never believed Hi Fi Rush was small scale I always pictured Pentiment or Song of the Deep that way but I guess it is due to the price and maybe the scale but Ghostwire didn't do well? I don't remember the situation there. Maybe didn't even when it went to Xbox?

So tell me why I cared more for smaller titles and continue to year after year then your bigger titles let alone i don't even buy Bethesda games AT ALL and would have.

If us gamers have made our shifts to select titles why make it that much easier for us to not give them money to them at all.

If I want to give you my money even with smaller titles why kill them and push big titles I don't want to play and keep expecting me to give you money.

I already buy up left behind PS3/360/Wii IPs because I wasn't interested in the IPs that already sell anyway on PS3/360, on PS4/Xbox One.

So stop pushing them so much gen after gen, sequel after sequel I'm not going to buy them.

  • 0
Eric2048 (on 07 May 2024)

I guess this means no Hi-Fi sequel. Wtf. I thought they said it was a success?

  • 0
darthv72 (on 07 May 2024)

Wow.... that sure was a surprise to read this morning. when Shinji left Tango, i figured something like this might happen but I kept hope alive.

What's stopping him from getting the team back together under a new moniker and joining Sony or Nintendo?

  • 0
JRPGfan darthv72 (on 07 May 2024)

He should try his hand at sony..... see if they want or need a guy like him. Would probably fit in better, than at nintendo.

  • +1
Leynos JRPGfan (on 07 May 2024)

He opened a new studio and why go from one big corp structure that could close him down in a heartbeat to another?

  • +3
Azzanation darthv72 (on 08 May 2024)

Because the same result will happen

  • -1
2zosteven (on 07 May 2024)

seems no one is safe from Bidenomics

  • -1
firebush03 2zosteven (on 08 May 2024)

what does Biden have to do with this lol. This is literally just a big business laying off employees and shutting down studios for the sake of immediate profits.

  • +2
Azzanation (on 08 May 2024)

Suprised by Tango, but critic success is not buisness success. As for the others, wasnt suprised.

  • -2
tslog (on 07 May 2024)
  • -18
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