Xbox’s Sarah Bond comments on recent Bethesda studio closures

Earlier this week, news broke that Xbox is closing four ZeniMax studios, including Hi-Fi Rush developer Tango Gameworks and Redfall developer Arkane Austin. While Microsoft has remained fairly quiet since, Xbox president Sarah Bond has now commented on the Bethesda studio closures.

Xbox comments on Bethesda studio closures

Microsoft has been hitting the headlines for all the wrong reasons this week, drawing criticism from across the industry for closing Tango Gameworks, Arkane Austin, Alpha Dog Games, and Roundhouse Studios. To make matters worse, Microsoft has remained fairly silent about the matter, leaving us with leaks and insider reports to piece together the story — such as the report that Xbox Game Studios boss Matt Booty is now saying Xbox “needs smaller games.”

Without any clear communication, Xbox’s reputation is looking worse for wear, but president of Xbox Sarah Bond has finally commented on the situation in an interview with Bloomberg.

“It’s always extraordinarily hard when you have to make decisions like that,” Bond said. “I’ll go back to what I was saying about the industry. And when we look at those fundamental trends, we feel a deep responsibility to ensure that the games we make, the devices we build, the services that we offer are there through moments, even when the industry isn’t growing and you’re through a time of transition.

“And the news we announced earlier this week is an outcome of that, and our commitment to make sure that the business is healthy for the long term.”

When asked why Tango Gameworks, a studio that delivered an award-winning game last year and one that had great success on Xbox Game Pass would be closed, Bond said: “You know, one of the things I really love about the games industry is it’s a creative art form. And it means that the situation and what successes is for each game and studio is also really unique. There’s no one-size-fits-all to it for us.

“And so, we look at each studio, each game team, and we look at a whole variety of factors when we’re faced with sort of making decisions and tradeoffs like that. But it all comes back to our long-term commitment to the games we create, the devices we build, the services, and ensuring that we’re setting ourselves up to be able to deliver on those promises.”

While this has certainly been a tough week for the teams at Xbox, this might not be the end of their woes, as more Xbox cuts are reportedly on the way.

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