Microsoft closes Arkane Austin and others as part of “reprioritisation” of resources

Posted on May 8, 2024

Microsoft will close multiple Bethesda studios, including Arkane Austin (Prey, Redfall), Tango Gameworks (Hi-Fi Rush, The Evil Within), and Alpha Dog Games (Mighty Doom), according to an email from the head of Xbox Games Studios Matt Booty. Another team, Roundhouse games, will be consolidated into ZeniMax Online Studios. Some employees within the closing studios will apparently be reassigned to other teams, but it seems like everyone else is set to join the massive and growing number of video game employees laid off from work over the last 24 months. Arkane Lyon is unaffected by the closures.


“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,” says Booty in the email, which has been verified by IGN. “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. his reprioritization of titles and resources means a few teams will be realigned to others and that some of our colleagues will be leaving us.”

Arkane Austin experienced a major flop last year with Redfall, a highly anticipated game that fell short of expectations with middling reviews. However, the studio otherwise has a great reputation for high-quality games, which makes it a curious and unpopular choice for the chopping block. Arkane Studios has the Dishonored series under its belt, as well as the award-winning 2021 game Deathloop, and Arkane Austin specifically developed Prey in 2017, another well-received game. Tango Gameworks is another astonishing closure, having developed The Evil Within, Ghostwire: Tokyo, and Hi-Fi Rush, which won multiple awards last year. One wonders what Matt Booty’s idea of “investing in Bethesda’s portfolio of blockbuster games” is if it involves closing these amazing studios.

With the closure of Arkane Austin, Microsoft is also cancelling all future updates and DLC for Redfall, meaning anyone who bought the Hero Pass or the premium Bite back upgrade will not be getting the future content they purchased. In a tweet, Arkane Studios reassured these buyers that they will receive some credit for the value of their purchase, but it’s a bit lacking in details at the moment. The servers will remain active, at least.

We here at Checkpoint wish the very best to all those affected and their dependents.