“Phil Spencer threw them out like they were trash”: The Talent Lost Because of Tango Gameworks Closure is Depressing

Everyone is still processing the aftermath of the recent studio closures.

phil spencer, tango's hifi rush


  • Xbox's decision to close Tango Gameworks and other studios has sparked widespread anger in the gaming community.
  • Tango Gameworks, known for titles like Hi-Fi Rush and The Evil Within, was especially mourned by fans for its talented staff.
  • Phil Spencer faces criticism amid the community's frustration, although some users speculate on the decision's origins.
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Saying Phil Spencer is one of the most disliked people in the gaming community wouldn’t be too much of a stretch currently. Xbox’s decision to shut down multiple beloved studios in a single day, has brought out the wrath of consumers from all corners of the community.


Tango Gameworks, one of the affected studios, was especially beloved by many gamers, as some of its staff were revered creatives in the industry. As players discover more about the faces behind Tango, their anger for Microsoft’s gaming brand only grows.

Xbox Lost Talented Creatives with Tango’s Closure

Phil Spencer isn't winning any favors, as gamers look at Tango's staff's credentials
Phil Spencer isn’t winning any favors as gamers look at Tango’s staff’s credentials.

It was a sad day for many when an e-mail announcement from Xbox head Matt Booty was sent out to a ton of studio staff, stating that Tango Gameworks (Hi-Fi Rush, The Evil Within), Arkane Austin (Prey, Redfall), and Alpha Dog Games (Mighty DOOM) would be closed.


Tango’s closure was one of the most shocking news stories out of everything. Hi-Fi Rush was well-loved by the public; it won big at The Game Awards, CEDEC Awards, New York Game Awards, and other events, it was said to have been performing well by staff; and it was recently released on the PS5.

Yet, it was still given the axe. As people on social media discover the talent Microsoft’s gaming brand lost through this closure, their anger turns to rage.


Lead Game Designer Masaaki Yamada worked on Resident Evil 1 and 2, The Evil Within series, Okami, Devil May Cry, and Bayonetta, to name some of the more popular works.

There’s also Concept Designer Ikumi Nakamura, who also worked on the first Bayonetta and The Evil Within, as well as Ghostwire: Tokyo.

Of course, the studio had many other talented individuals, who were unfortunately left without a studio.


Tango’s studio founder and gaming industry legend Shinji Mikami stayed with the studio for eight more years than he wished out of responsibility for the ongoing projects at the time. He left just over a year ago in February 2023 and recently started a new company, Kamuy Inc.

The Heat is on Phil Spencer, as the Community is Fed Up

Tango was more than Hi-Fi Rush, and it will be missed
Tango was more than Hi-Fi Rush, and it will be missed.

Many users feel like Spencer and his team have taken advantage of these creatives, squandering their talent for profit.


Not everyone thinks Spencer is the one responsible for the decision, however.

One user expressed that they felt Spencer would not want a closure like this to go through, as he’s “somebody who enjoys playing video games” like the rest of the community.


It’s impossible to know exactly who made the final decision that resulted in the closure of these studios.

Arguably, it doesn’t matter, when the result doesn’t change. Tango is gone, and hopefully the staff will find a home elsewhere, where their talent and creativity can shine again.


What do you think about Xbox’s recent decision to close these studios? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.


Written by Vibha Hegde

Articles Published: 243

Vibha is an avid gamer that has been in the content writing space for over three years. With a Bachelors in Computer Applications, Vibha chooses to explore their passion for pop culture and gaming. When not hunkered over a controller trying to beat the Demon of Hatred in Sekiro, you can find Vibha relaxing to jazz during a digital painting session.