Xbox exec reportedly says Microsoft "needs smaller games" after closing Hi-Fi Rush dev

Just a day after Microsoft closed Hi-Fi Rush studio Tango Gameworks, Xbox Game Studios head Matt Booty has reportedly told staff, "We need smaller games."

Xbox exec reportedly says Microsoft needs smaller games after closing Hi-Fi Rush dev
Tom West

Tom West

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While Microsoft isn't publicly speaking about its plans for Xbox, numerous reports have surfaced since we learned that the company is closing multiple ZeniMax studios. One of the affected studios is Tango Gameworks, which shadow-dropped the award-winning Hi-Fi Rush last year. Despite that, however, Xbox Game Studios head Matt Booty has reportedly said that Xbox "needs smaller games."

"We needs smaller games" Xbox exec reportedly tells employees

As reported by The Verge, Xbox Game Studios boss Matt Booty apparently spoke to the division's staff via a town hall meeting, discussing Xbox's future goals. Somewhat contradicting the company's recent actions, Booty reportedly told employees: “We need smaller games that give us prestige and awards."

Tango Gameworks' Hi-Fi Rush was a hit when it shadow-dropped into Xbox Game Pass, reaching more than two million players just over a month after its release and raking in a host of accolades, including a Game Award and a BAFTA. Compared to many of Xbox's first-party games, Hi-Fi Rush fits the bill as a "smaller game," and certainly earned the prestige and awards Matt Booty is asking for.

In fact, Xbox itself referred to the game as a "break out hit" in "all key measurements and expectations," according to vice president of Xbox games marketing Aaron Greenberg last year. Bloomberg reports that Tango Gameworks was in the process of pitching a Hi-Fi Rush sequel when Microsoft closed the studio, which makes the closure even more confusing.

Of course, we don't know the full picture and what led Microsoft to close Tango Gameworks and Arkane Austin, which isn't made any better by Microsoft's continued silence. A recent report suggests the closures are linked to freeing up resources across ZeniMax, and we could see more Xbox cuts in the future.
Written by Tom West
Tom has been playing video games since he was old enough to hold a controller, experimenting with a number of systems until he eventually fell in love with Xbox. With a passion for the platform, he decided to make a career out of it, and now happily spends his days writing about that which he loves. If he’s not hunting for Xbox achievements, you’ll likely find him somewhere in The Elder Scrolls Online or fighting for survival in Battlefield.
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