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Microsoft Wants More Award-Winning Games Like Hi-Fi Rush, Just Fired Everyone Who Made Hi-Fi Rush

Microsoft recently said that the company needs more "smaller games that give us prestige and awards" after closing several studios that produced smaller award-winning games.


Microsoft's shuttering of four of its game studios earlier this month prompted a barrage of negative responses from around the games industry. In a recent town hall, head of Xbox Game Studios Matt Booty made a curious comment, according to The Verge: "We need smaller games that give us prestige and awards."

Some developers on the call expressed surprise at this statement, given that it recently shut down several studios that have a track record of doing just that. For example, last year's Hi-Fi Rush won many awards from a variety of sources, including Best Audio Design (The Game Awards), Best Audio (Developers Choice Awards), and a BAFTA for Animation.

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Now Playing: Hi-Fi Rush Video Review

Many observers in the gaming industry were upset when the game's developer, Tango Gameworks, was impacted by Xbox's studio closures. Though the sales data for the game is not public, Xbox representatives issued public statements expressing satisfaction with the game, with VP of Xbox games marketing Aaron Greenberg calling it "a break out (sic) hit for us and our players in all key measurements and expectations." This came shortly after it was reported that Hi-Fi Rush had undersold.

Former Tango employees weren't shy about responding to this news, with Hi-Fi Rush director John Johanas posting the above screengrab from the game to express his feelings. Tango Gameworks wasn't the only acclaimed studio shut down by Xbox. Though Arkane Austin's latest game, Redfall, was a critical and commercial disaster, the studio developed Prey (2017), which is widely considered one of the best "immersive sims" ever.

As such, it's easy to see why these laid-off developers are wondering what exactly their former boss is getting at with these behind-the-scenes statements, given that they chafe with the recent layoffs. As for Hi-Fi Rush, you can play it on Xbox Game Pass.

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