Microsoft scuttles publisher Bethesda by closing four studios

Microsoft scuttles publisher Bethesda by closing four studios
Microsoft scuttles publisher Bethesda by closing four studios

After parting ways with more than 1,900 employees at the start of the year, following the acquisition of Activision Blizzard, Microsoft continues its cuts in its video games division. In an email sent to employees by Matt Booty, head of Xbox Games Studios, the firm announced the closure of four development studios belonging to publisher Bethesda, leading to layoffs, reports the specialist site IGN. These are Tango Gameworks (“The Evil Within”, “Ghostwire: Tokyo” and “Hi-Fi RUSH”), Arkane Austin (“Redfall”), Alpha Dog Games (“Mighty DOOM”) and Roundhouse Studios. The latter studio will see its developers strengthen the ranks of ZeniMax Online Studios.

This restructuring aims to promote high-impact games and invest more in successful games from the Bethesda catalog, explains Microsoft, which bought this publisher in 2021. The Redmond giant did not specify how many employees will be affected by the shutdown of these studios and the development of the games they were working on. “Redfall” will no longer have updates, but the game and its servers will remain online, as will “Hi-Fi RUSH,” while “Mighty Doom” will end on August 7, their respective development studios announced.

Dinga Bakaba, who directed the “Dishonored” and “Deathloop” franchises within Arkane Lyon, a studio which was spared by these cuts, reacted on the X network by denouncing the treatment of video game developers for several years.

“It’s absolutely terrible. Permission to be human: To all the executives reading this, I would like to offer a friendly reminder that video games are an entertainment and cultural industry, and your job as a company is to care for and help your artists to create value for you. Don’t engage us in gold fever games, don’t use us as straw men for miscalculations, don’t turn our work environments into Darwinist jungles. You say we make you proud when we make a good play. Make us proud when times are tough. We know you can, we’ve seen it before,” he wrote.

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