Xbox’s Tone Deaf Announcement Speaks Volumes After Closing Four Studios in One Day

Thank you, Xbox - everyone is truly feeling the burn with this one.

Xbox's Tone Deaf Announcement Speaks Volumes After Closing Four Studios in One Day

SUMMARY

  • Xbox has announced to shut down 4 of its 1st party studios, including Arkane and Tango Gameworks.
  • In a surprising move, Xbox also announced a fire-red variant of its controller with a poor tagline on the same day.
  • The move has been met with widespread negativity, criticizing mismanagement and for its tone-deaf behavior.
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Xbox’s strategy for the ongoing generation seems pretty clear: take two steps forward, jump ten steps back. From the lack of exclusive titles, bringing the few that remain onto its direct competitor, presenting plans of going completely digital, to causing a lot of confusion among its supporters, most have no idea what’s in store for the company’s future.

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However, it seems as though Xbox hasn’t had enough of dragging itself through the mud, as right after dissolving 4 of its most prominent studios, including Arkane and Tango Gameworks, the company proceeds to announce a fire-red variant of its controller. Talk about being tone-deaf.

The Poor Studios at Xbox Are the Real Targets of “Feel the Burn”

Xbox's latest announcement is either a PR move or just bad timing.
Xbox’s latest announcement is either a PR move or just bad timing.

Not even a day has passed since Microsoft decided to torch 4 of its biggest studios, and it is already making sure that no one may question the idiocy behind said decision. With the release of a new Wireless controller, the inappropriately titled Fire Vapor Special Edition, it is as though Microsoft’s gaming division is asking to be, quite ironically, set on fire.

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While releasing different variants of their controllers is arguably the only thing Xbox has been consistent with since the beginning of the eighth generation of consoles, it is, at the very least, quick on the uptake. In a matter of hours after publishing their blog post, they quickly decided to remove the tagline “feel the burn” from their announcement page.

Even if they removed the tagline, releasing a controller at the same time when the entire gaming division is at its lowest is either a clear case of greed, bad PR, or mismanagement. With a division as massive as Xbox, it may be difficult to fix every scheduled announcement in terror of the shareholders but to put it simply, this could have been easily avoided.

It’s Not a Day to Be Angry, as We Have Lost Arkane and Tango Gameworks

Xbox has decided to shut down Tango Gameworks, the creators of Hi-Fi Rush.
Xbox has decided to shut down Tango Gameworks, the creators of Hi-Fi Rush.

Without a doubt, it is still a rather sad day for fans of the studios that were unceremoniously shut down. Sure, the studio may have cultivated a somewhat tarnished reputation with the release of Redfall, but there’s no denying the talent that still rests in the studio.

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Arkane Studios is, after all, the team that gave us memorable titles such as Dishonored and Prey. What this means for their upcoming game, Marvel’s Blade, remains shrouded in uncertainty. Similarly, Tango Gameworks, while bereft of Shinji Mikami’s leadership today, still carried the Xbox brand through much of 2023 with their absolute masterwork, Hi-Fi Rush.

Alpha Dog Studios, the creators of the mobile game Mighty Doom, and Roundhouse Studios will also receive similar treatment; the former studio will meet its demise while the latter will be absorbed into Zenimax Online Studios.

Even though games like Hi-Fi Rush fare well amongst critics and players, the sad reality of this industry is that the only metric for success is the volume of sales and the amount of money generated.

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With all that said, what do you think about these shutdowns? Do you think the timing of Xbox’s latest controller was a PR move or simple mismanagement? Let us know in the comments below.

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Written by Akshit Dangi

Articles Published: 104

Akshit is a (supposed) human being that lurks in different corners of the internet in search of fascinating rabbit holes. Outside of that, though, you'll most likely find him staring at a piece of art for days or completing another playthrough of Silent Hill.