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Tango Gameworks developer documents the studio's final day

The Hi-Fi Rush and Ghostwire Tokyo developer has been shut down by Microsoft.

Chris Kerr, News Editor

June 14, 2024

2 Min Read
The Tango Gameworks office
Image via Takeo Kido

Tango Gameworks staffer Takeo Kido has documented the Hi-Fi Rush developer's last day.

The Tokyo-based studio was shuttered by parent company Microsoft in May. Other studios including Arkane Austin and Alpha Dog Games were also closed. Microsoft announced 1,900 layoffs in January 2024 following its $68.7 billion merger with Activision Blizzard. Those studio closures followed shortly after.

A sobering X thread shared by Kido revealed the Tango team spent their remaining hours together feasting on pizza in studio that resembled an apartment on moving day. His final post was a photograph of the Tango logo on an office wall. "Farewell," he wrote.

The thread is a brief window into the lives of those who dedicated themselves to making games before having the rug yanked out from under them. A gimpse at the very real, human impact of the layoffs and closures that have become all too commonplace across the game industry.

Boxes filled with Tango Gamesworks work machines

Indeed, the decision to jettison Tango Gameworks was surprising given the studio had just delivered critical darling Hi-Fi Rush. Despite rumblings the title had failed to meet sales expectations after shadow-launching in January 2023, Xbox Games Marketing VP Aaron Greenberg assured players it had become a "break out hit"

"Hi-Fi Rush was a break out hit for us and our players in all key measurements and expectations. We couldn't be happier with what the team at Tango Gameworks delivered with this surprise release," he tweeted in April 2023.

Discussing the recent layoffs and closures, Xbox boss Phil Spencer told IGN the cuts were "very hard" but ultimately necessary in order to deliver sustainability. "Sometimes I have to make hard decisions that frankly are not decisions I love," he added. "But decisions that somebody needs to go make."

Those remarks followed the latest Xbox Games Showcase, which (must like last year) promised a deluge of first-party titles but largely failed to mention when those projects will actually land.

About the Author(s)

Chris Kerr

News Editor, GameDeveloper.com

Game Developer news editor Chris Kerr is an award-winning journalist and reporter with over a decade of experience in the game industry. His byline has appeared in notable print and digital publications including Edge, Stuff, Wireframe, International Business Times, and PocketGamer.biz. Throughout his career, Chris has covered major industry events including GDC, PAX Australia, Gamescom, Paris Games Week, and Develop Brighton. He has featured on the judging panel at The Develop Star Awards on multiple occasions and appeared on BBC Radio 5 Live to discuss breaking news.

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