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Xbox shutting down four Bethesda studios

Arkane Austin, Tango Gameworks, Alpha Dog, and Roundhouse on the chopping block

Microsoft is shutting down four of the studios it picked up as part of the 2020 Bethesda acquisition, as reported by IGN.

The four studios include Arkane Austin, maker of last year's disappointing Redfall, and Tango Gameworks, the studio behind Hi-Fi Rush, Ghostwire: Tokyo, and The Evil Within.

Beyond that pair, Mighty Doom developer Alpha Dog Studios and Human Head Software successor Roundhouse Games are also shutting down.

In an email to staff, Xbox Game Studios head Matt Booty reportedly said the company was closing the developers in order to focus resources on "high-impact titles" and the rest of Bethesda's portfolio of games.

"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," Booty said.

"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."

Booty said that some of Arkane Austin's developers will be moved to other Bethesda studios while the entire team at Roundhouse will become part of Zenimax Online Studios to work on The Elder Scrolls online.

In addition to the studio closures, Booty said "a small number" of people in Bethesda publishing and corporate roles will also be laid off.

As for the games these teams had been working on, Redfall will not receive any more content updates, and those who purchased the "Hero Pass" DLC (which was advertised as including two yet-to-be-made playable characters) will receive an unspecified make-good of some sort.

As for Alpha Dog's cute mobile top-down shooter Mighty Doom, that game will be sunset August 7.

Microsoft announced in January that it would be laying off 1,900 people from its games division. Microsoft declined our request for clarification as to whether these cuts are part of that round of layoffs, or in addition to it.

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Brendan Sinclair avatar
Brendan Sinclair: Brendan joined in 2012. Based in Toronto, Ontario, he was previously senior news editor at GameSpot.
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