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Xbox hit with massive backlash following new hardware announcement

Xbox hit with massive backlash following new hardware announcement

Many were quick to point out the unfortunate phrasing

Yesterday marked yet another devastating blow to the games industry after it was revealed that Microsoft would be closing four of Bethesda’s subsidiary studios: Arkane Austin, Tango Gameworks, Alpha Dog Studios, and Roundhouse Games.

This news came as a major shock to many given that Tango Gameworks released one of 2023’s best-received games, Hi-Fi Rush.

Not only did the game win Best Audio Design at last year’s The Game Awards, it picked up the BAFTA for Best Animation just a few mere weeks ago.

Acknowledging the news, the studio wrote, “Today it was announced that Tango Gameworks will close. Thank you to everyone that explored the worlds we created. Hi-Fi Rush along with Tango’s previous titles will remain available and playable everywhere they are today.”

It’s prompted concerns in the industry surrounding just how much financial success a game has to have to ensure the longevity of its studio. If Hi-Fi Rush couldn’t secure Tango’s future, it doesn’t bode well for similar scale releases like the upcoming Hellblade II from Ninja Theory.

It’s also been pointed out that Hi-Fi Rush uses licensed music meaning that while it remains playable for now, without a further patch to disable this, the game could be delisted in the future.

The fantastic Hi-Fi Rush is now also available on PlayStation.

Arkane Austin was the studio behind last year’s disastrous Redfall - a game that, according to many sources, Arkane Austin did not want to make and was forced into releasing before it was ready. Those who have purchased the game’s Hero Pass are set to be refunded.

Alpha Dog also confirmed all development will end on Mighty DOOM.

Alongside this news, Xbox dropped a new Fire Vapor Series X/S controller. Such a drop wouldn’t usually cause such dismay. After all, it feels like a new colour is released every single week.

Debuting the design on the Xbox blog though was the accompanying headline, “Feel the burn today.” Not the best phrasing when the closure of four studios has just been made public.

The Verge’s Tom Warren was one of the first to highlight the faux pas. “Microsoft asks Xbox gamers to ‘Feel the Burn Today’ with yet another special edition Xbox controller on the same day it shuts Xbox studios. Really unfortunate timing for this,” he tweeted.

Many others shared similar sentiments. Thankfully, the upset caught the attention of Xbox with the unfortunate phrasing now having been removed from the page.

Our thoughts go out to all of those talented developers and creatives who find themselves affected by the ongoing layoffs.

Featured Image Credit: Microsoft

Topics: Xbox, Xbox Series S, Xbox Series X, Microsoft