Home Redfall and Ghostwire: Tokyo studios shut down by another round of Microsoft layoffs

Redfall and Ghostwire: Tokyo studios shut down by another round of Microsoft layoffs


  • Arkane Austin and Tango Gameworks, subsidiaries of Bethesda Softworks, were shut down by Microsoft's Xbox Game Studios.
  • Redfall's post-launch support, including DLC, is canceled, disappointing fans despite its mixed critical reception.
  • Other closures include Alpha Dog Studios and Roundhouse Games, part of Microsoft's larger strategy in the gaming industry.

Arkane Austin, makers of 2023’s Redfall, and Tango Gameworks, developers of The Evil Within and 2022’s Ghostwire: Tokyo, are shut down. The two studios, subsidiaries of Microsoft-owned Bethesda Softworks, were shuttered on Tuesday along with two others according to an email sent by Matt Booty, the head of Xbox Game Studios.

The closure means Redfall’s post launch support, including any DLC expansions, are now off the board although Arkane Studios itself, headquarted in Lyon, France, will still hang on. But the ambitious, supernatural shooter that Arkane Austin launched in May 2023 is officially done, and will not be be receiving any post-launch support, much less the two DLC characters that Xbox had promised at the time of released.

IGN confirmed Arkane Austin’s closure in an email from Booty. “Redfall’s previous update will be its last as we end all development on the game,” it said. “The game and its servers will remain online for players to enjoy and we will provide make-good offers to players who purchased the Hero DLC.”

Why did Microsoft shut down Arkane and Tango?

Redfall was a day-and-date launch for Xbox Game Pass on May 2, 2023, though it arrived to a mixed-at-best critical reception, with critics demurring over Redfall’s story, performance, and other issues. Harvey Smith, who directed the acclaimed Dishonored (2012) and Dishonored 2 (2016) for Arkane was director.

Tango Gameworks was founded by Shinji Mikami, who had worked in the early 2000s for Capcom on the Resident Evil Franchise before moving on to PlatinumGames and titles like Vanquish.

Tango Gameworks and Arkane Studios were both acquired by Bethesda Softworks in 2010. Bethesda, a subsidiary of Zenimax Media, was acquired by Microsoft and folded into its Xbox Game Studios division in 2020. Ghostwire: Tokyo was notable in that it was announced as a PlayStation 5 console exclusive in 2022, an obligation Bethesda honored for one year. It launched on Xbox Series X in April 2023.

Redfall disappointed at launch, and critical reception was only part of the reason. Microsoft had made numerous aggressive moves to acquire developers of first-party games, followed by promises to gamers to deliver their titles to the Xbox Game Pass subscription service. Redfall was originally planned for a May 2022 launch, then was delayed as Xbox had trouble bringing its exclusives to launch for more than a year.

Two other studios, Alpha Dog Studios and Roundhouse Games, are also being closed down. Booty’s email said that Alpha Dog’s Mighty Doom, a mobile adaptation of the hit shooter franchise, will close down on Aug. 7. Roundhouse Games staff will join ZeniMax Online Studios to support The Elder Scrolls Online, the massively multiplayer online game based on Bethesda’s successful Elder Scrolls fantasy RPG franchise.

The workplace closures and mass firings come exactly one fiscal quarter after the company cut 1,900 jobs from Xbox and the newly acquired Activision Blizzard. Microsoft on the whole has since surpassed a $3 trillion market capitalization (according to share price) largely on the back of artificial intelligence development elsewhere in the company, to overtake Apple, Inc. as the world’s most valuable company.

About ReadWrite’s Editorial Process

The ReadWrite Editorial policy involves closely monitoring the tech industry for major developments, new product launches, AI breakthroughs, video game releases and other newsworthy events. Editors assign relevant stories to staff writers or freelance contributors with expertise in each particular topic area. Before publication, articles go through a rigorous round of editing for accuracy, clarity, and to ensure adherence to ReadWrite's style guidelines.

Owen Good
Gaming Editor (US)

Owen Good is a 15-year veteran of video games writing, also covering pop culture and entertainment subjects for the likes of Kotaku and Polygon. He is a Gaming Editor for ReadWrite working from his home in North Carolina, the United States, joining this publication in April, 2024. Good is a 1995 graduate of North Carolina State University and a 2000 graduate of The Graduate School of Journalism, Columbia University, in New York. A second-generation newspaperman, Good's career before covering video games included daily newspaper stints in North Carolina; in upstate New York; in Washington, D.C., with the Associated Press; and…

Get the biggest tech headlines of the day delivered to your inbox

    By signing up, you agree to our Terms and Privacy Policy. Unsubscribe anytime.

    Tech News

    Explore the latest in tech with our Tech News. We cut through the noise for concise, relevant updates, keeping you informed about the rapidly evolving tech landscape with curated content that separates signal from noise.

    In-Depth Tech Stories

    Explore tech impact in In-Depth Stories. Narrative data journalism offers comprehensive analyses, revealing stories behind data. Understand industry trends for a deeper perspective on tech's intricate relationships with society.

    Expert Reviews

    Empower decisions with Expert Reviews, merging industry expertise and insightful analysis. Delve into tech intricacies, get the best deals, and stay ahead with our trustworthy guide to navigating the ever-changing tech market.