These are the franchises being affected by the latest studio closures at Microsoft

Hi-Fi RUSH image celebrating three million players.

Hi-Fi Rush has reached three million players on Xbox and PC. 

(Image credit: Bethesda Softworks)

What you need to know

  • Microsoft has closed three studios: Arkane Austin, Alpha Dog Games, and Tango Gameworks.
  • Roundhouse Studios is being folded into ZeniMax Online Studios while some members of Arkane Austin are being reassigned.
  • This affects franchises such as Hi-Fi Rush, The Evil Within, Prey, and more.

The recent layoffs at Microsoft have sent shockwaves through the gaming community. The closure of Arkane Austin, Alpha Dog Games, and Tango Gameworks, all in the name of prioritizing 'high-impact titles,' has left us at Windows Central and many others reeling. Our thoughts are with every member affected by this heart-wrenching news.

These studios have been the creative powerhouses behind some of the most memorable gaming experiences, from Tango Gameworks' Hi-Fi Rush and The Evil Within to Arkane Austin's Prey. The question on everyone's mind is, what does this mean for the future of these beloved franchises? To shed some light on this, I'll be delving into the games that have been directly impacted by these layoffs.

Tango Gameworks

  • The Evil Within
  • Ghostwire: Tokyo
  • Hi-Fi RUSH

Arkane Austin

  • Prey (2017)
  • Redfall

Roundhouse Studios

  • Redfall (support)
  • Unannounced Project

Alpha Dog Games

  • Mighty Doom

Games unaffected (Arkane Lyon)

  • Dishonored
  • Marvel's Blade
  • Deathloop

A lot of epic franchises are potentially buried due to these closures, but IPs like Dishonored, Deathloop, and the upcoming Marvel's Blade game should all be safe under Arkane Lyon. At least, they should be safe for now. The door has been opened, so who knows what Microsoft could decide to do in the future.

If you've made it this far, I want to speak a little more candidly. Microsoft, what kind of message does this send your development teams underneath you? In an era where you said you "couldn't be happier with what the team at Tango Gameworks delivered," only to close them down a year later after forcing them to port the title to PlayStation, what are you doing? Are you allergic to its critical success?

What is your goal? It's clearly marked by the dollar signs, but just after stating your quarterly revenue reached a staggering $61.9 billion, no one is going to come up to bat for you. Do I need to link articles like Don't Buy Things You Can't Afford?

Of all these studios, we get that Redfall wasn't the success we all hoped for. However, closing a studio after they created a cult hit like Prey doesn't bode well for other teams under your umbrella. Instead, it signals that one bad game could end your entire studio. Even when you claim you don't want to " push against creative aspirations of our teams. I know a lot of people will say, 'Hey, you've got teams that know how to do one kind of game. Just force them to go do the one kind of game that they have a proven track record for.' I'm just not a believer in that, as developers should have the creative freedom to craft what they want. But how can a team risk being creative in an environment such as this?

Even when a team comes off the critically acclaimed success that is Hi-Fi RUSH, they're still not safe! What gives Microsoft? What is your metric for success? I hope this isn't part of your attempt to output Bethesda games at a greater pace. These aren't the sacrifices your fans want to see.

I'm obviously ranting, but I feel like something beyond criticism should be lofted at Microsoft right now. Fans who praised your efforts in acquiring gaming talent now feel scorned by the decisions you're making today. We don't want to see creative teams let go in an effort to grease your development pipeline. In fact, this makes me want to play your games less.

Michael Hoglund

Michael has been gaming since he was five when his mother first bought a Super Nintendo from Blockbuster. Having written for a now-defunct website in the past, he's joined Windows Central as a contributor to spreading his 30+ years of love for gaming with everyone he can. His favorites include Red Dead Redemption, all the way to the controversial Dark Souls 2. 

  • serdezdezen
    I think compared to other really big games publishers, Microsoft historically compares well, in terms of allowing creative games and new IPs.

    That being said, if you're a Microsoft game studio and you've released multiple games that just don't sell well, they could be the greatest games in the world, but a company like Microsoft is not going to just keep going with that forever.

    At the end of the day, genuine creative games don't always sell well, and that's a reality of business.