Spencer Addresses Xbox Studio Closures: “I Have to Make Hard Decisions” to Ensure Sustainable Business Model

Redmond, Washington – Xbox boss Phil Spencer recently addressed the closure of several studios within Microsoft’s gaming business, highlighting the necessity of making tough decisions to ensure the company’s sustainability and growth. In a conversation with IGN’s Ryan McCaffrey at IGN Live, Spencer acknowledged the difficult move to shut down Redfall developer Arkane Austin and Hi-Fi Rush developer Tango Gameworks, affecting around 1,900 employees.

Spencer emphasized that such closures are challenging for the individuals and teams involved, expressing his focus on supporting those affected rather than public relations. He stressed the importance of running a sustainable business and the responsibility of making tough decisions for the company’s long-term success, even if they are not easy choices to make.

Microsoft’s decision to close Arkane Austin, Tango Gameworks, and other studios stirred shock and anger in the industry, especially considering the success of titles like Hi-Fi Rush. This move came as part of a broader effort by Microsoft to streamline operations following its acquisition of parent company Zenimax in 2021.

Following the layoffs, Xbox President Sarah Bond reassured the public at a Bloomberg conference that despite the transitional phase, the Xbox business remains healthy for the long run. The closures at Microsoft are part of a larger trend in the gaming industry, with several companies such as Sony, Riot, and Epic also implementing significant workforce reductions over the past year.

The recent uptick in layoffs across the video game industry has raised concerns about the future of game development and the well-being of industry professionals. As companies navigate through these changes, the impact on employees and the industry as a whole remains a focal point of discussion and reflection.

Despite the challenges, industry experts continue to monitor the evolving landscape of the gaming sector, emphasizing the need for strategic decision-making to ensure the industry’s resilience and growth in the face of ongoing transitions and transformations. In times of uncertainty, the resilience and adaptability of the video game industry will be crucial in shaping its future trajectory.