Home / industry / Microsoft shutters a quartet of Bethesda studios, including Tango Gameworks and Arkane Austin

Microsoft shutters a quartet of Bethesda studios, including Tango Gameworks and Arkane Austin

Players without boundaries - connecting players across all platforms

Microsoft continues to streamline its operations, cutting four more development houses, and this round is going to disappoint.


It’s a decidedly weird time in the video game biz. After a blockbuster period, the last few years have seen declining sales and a number of studios closed, as publishers look to tighten their collective belt. All of that is inarguably bad news and not great overall signs for the industry that we all know and love either. And speaking of “not great”, the bug has bitten Microsoft once again, as the Xbox company has seen fit to shutter Arkane Austin, Tango Gameworks, Alpha Dog Studios, and Roundhouse Games. All four of those studios were acquired when Microsoft purchased ZeniMax, and there are some pretty big games that all of them have been behind.

Arkane Austin last produced the multiplayer, vampire-slaying FPS Redfall, which fell way short of what we thought was some great potential. Pre-release looks aside though, the triple-A targeted title debuted last spring to out and out dismal reviews from both the press and players. On the flip side, Alpha Dog Studios and Roundhouse Games are certainly smaller houses than Arkane, though both are still notable. The former made Mighty Doom, a tongue in cheek and cartoony take on the classic property, and the latter… well the latter was basically Human Head. And if you know Human Head, then you know that that was the studio behind the awesome Prey (the original). Yeah, that hurts.

Then there’s Tango Gameworks.

What we think is by far the only really controversial one of these closures, Tango Gameworks was the studio behind hit horror series The Evil Within, and recently created both Hi-Fi Rush and Ghostwire: Tokyo. Both of those were well received, especially in the case of Hi-Fi Rush, and also did fairly well in terms of sales. So why Tango Gameworks found itself on the chopping block is something we honestly don’t get it.

According to an internal (leaked to IGN) email from Xbox Game Studios honcho Matt Booty, the moves are to redirect resources to Bethesda’s other projects and “double down” on them. We’re not just talking about existing series’ either, so fans can expect to see a mix of increased support for current games in development, plus some possible stuff we don’t know about just yet.

As for the people who worked at those studios, there’s also going to be a mix of fallout (no pun intended) from this. Some of Arkane’s staff will be moved within the company, and the entire Roundhouse squad will be shifted to The Elder Scrolls Online. Beyond that, things look a little foggier, which again is decidedly not great.

Source: GamesIndustry

About Jason Micciche

Jason's been knee deep in videogames since he was but a lad. Cutting his teeth on the pixely glory that was the Atari 2600, he's been hack'n'slashing and shoot'em'uping ever since. Mainly an FPS and action guy, Jason enjoys the occasional well crafted title from every genre.

Check Also

Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes comes home digitally next month, physically in August

Released into theaters earlier this spring, Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes is heading …