Microsoft Closes Bethesda Developers Behind Redfall, HiFi Rush, and More

Microsoft closes down four different Bethesda/ZeniMax studios.

Microsoft announced this week plans to shutter several different Bethesda and ZeniMax studios with four different developers impacted. One of those is Arkane Austin, the developer behind Prey and, more recently, the troubled Redfall, while another is Tango Gameworks, the studio responsible for The Evil Within, its sequel The Evil Within 2, and its newest games HiFi Rush and Ghostwire: Tokyo. Alongside Arkane Austin and Tango Gameworks, Microsoft is also shutting down Alpha Dog Studios and Roundhouse Games with individual projects such as Redfall and Mighty Doom also impacted by the decision. 

The sweeping, unexpected closures of different Bethesda and ZeniMax studios was announced in an internal email sent out by Xbox's Matt Booty (via IGN). For Alpha Dog Studios, the developer will close down entirely with its Mighty Doom mobile game to sunset on August 7th. Roundhouse Games will be folded into ZeniMax Online Studios to work on The Elder Scrolls Online.

The Tango Gameworks closure is a particularly surprising one here given the warm reception the studio's gotten amidst its two Evil Within games and HiFi Rush. The latter was a sharp departure from what horror games Tango was known, and though there were rumors that the rhythm-platformer game didn't well as well as it'd hoped to, it was received well by players and just recently made the multiplatform jump

Looking at Arkane Austin's Redfall and how poorly it faired, one might be less surprised by that studio's closure, but surprised still given the games that it's worked on in the past. Booty said some developers working at Arkane Austin will be joining other studios, but as for Redfall, the most recent update that the game got will be its last with no plans to continue forward with the previously announced DLC.

"This studio will close with some members of the team joining other studios to work on projects across Bethesda," reads an excerpt from the email obtained by IGN. "Arkane Austin has a history of making impactful and innovative games and it is a pedigree that everyone should be proud of. Redfall's previous update will be its last as we end all development on the game. The game and its servers will remain online for players to enjoy and we will provide make-good offers to players who purchased the Hero DLC."

Following Booty's internal email being made public, individual studios have posted their own announcements. Tango Gameworks shared a tweet confirming its closure as did Alpha Dog Games. Arkane Austin shared another addressing what Redfall players will get as compensation for investing in the Hero Pass and the Bite Back Edition.