Even after a bitter Tuesday (7) for the entire gaming community and industry, with the closure of three Xbox partner studios, Microsoft still doesn’t seem to be satisfied. The company, which accumulated US$21.9 billion in profit during the third business quarter of 2024 alone, appears to be preparing for a new wave of cuts and layoffs.

The information was shared by veteran reporter Jason Schreier, on the website Bloomberg, suggesting that Microsoft seeks to streamline its gaming operation. According to him, the company offered numerous voluntary dismissal agreements to ZeniMax producers and technicians, purchased in 2020 for US$7.5 billion. Precisely, the company owns the recently closed studios, in addition to Bethesda and id Software.

While Xbox representatives denied comment to the source, numerous company employees stated that there are more cuts planned. In this context, the news further disappoints fans of the brand, who vehemently regretted the closure of the studios — with emphasis on Tango Gameworks, producer of the acclaimed Hi-Fi Rush e The Evil Within.

Nominations and awards seem to be irrelevant

Although have praised Hi-Fi Rushone of the most awarded Xbox games in years —, the brand’s president, Matt Booty, did not detail the closure of his studio. Speaking of a general context, he only mentioned that the decision sought to “alleviate resources for other projects”.

No context, Booty added that the closure of Arkane Austin, the studio responsible for the renowned Prey, had nothing to do with the recent failure of Redfall. To recap, the game received numerous criticisms regarding its gameplay and graphics, denouncing the rushed and unplanned nature of its development.

It is worth remembering that, until the purchase by Microsoft, Arkane Austin has become renowned for its excellent work in single-player gameslike the series Dishonored e Deathloop. The studio even planned to return to its origins with a new game along these lines, but ended its legacy with the regrettable Redfall.

Is Hellblade 2’s Ninja Theory the next studio to close?

Scheduled for release this May, Senua’s Saga: Hellblade II has undergone a long period of development. The title, which promises to be an intense artistic experience with touches of horror, does not have the same commercial appeal as God of War, although it is the Nordic exclusive equivalent of Xbox.

These characteristics, together with the very low presence of advertising even on the eve of its launch, countless users made comment on the possible closure of Ninja Theory, its production company. Naturally, the recent news is not very reassuring.

However, theDespite supposed evidence and fear, there is nothing official suggesting the closure of Ninja Theory. Like this Alan Wake 2, which despite its success has not yet generated profits for Remedy, it is possible that Senua’s Saga: Hellblade II be an artistic releaseaimed at awards and critics.

Aren’t players buying the games?

Amid so many cuts to save, some users suggested that the solution to remedy the industry would obviously be to buy Xbox games — but that may not be the case. As mentioned earlier, Microsoft is generating a considerable profit and appears far from a crisis. But because it is a publicly traded company, it must respond to its investors and, consequently, their suggestions.

In that regard, games as a service seems to be the controversial and profitable new fad in the gaming industry, acting as a big bet for the studios that accept the challenge. If successful, the titles become platforms for your own success and generate lasting profits with low maintenance investment. The costs of this, however, come in two parts: the diminished freedom of studios and the commitment of players..

Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3, from 2023, increasingly distances itself from the rest of the franchise.

In practice, studios become hostages of content production for new seasons, while players practically participate as partners in battle passes and the like. If either party fails, games do not produce the expected profit and are canceled.

Along with that, super-premium (AAA) games have multimillion-dollar budgets, and often surpass the production value of Hollywood films. Currently offering a story mode with 20 hours of content and low replayability is no longer interesting for companies and studios — although it is missed by many players.

E o Game Pass?

The obvious alternative to please both sides, public and companies, seems to be Game Pass… right? Apparently no. As Schreier himself explains, the service grew explosively between 2019 and 2021, but has since stagnated. Despite quarterly growth of 62%, greatly influenced by the purchase of Activision, subscription could have registered an annual drop of 5% without the promotions during this period.

With problems in its studios, console sales and subscription services, Microsoft appears to face a difficult period with the Xbox brand. On the other hand, in an acid way, users remember the period in which Nintendo recovered after the failure of the WiiU, when former director Satoru Iwata cut 50% of his salary to keep his developers employed.

Internet users still joke: the payment of US$375 million for the dismissal of the former CEO of ActivisionBobby Kotick, could pay the salaries of all employees at the three closed studios — for 17 years.

We just have to wait for Team Verde’s next steps!

Source: https://www.tecmundo.com.br/voxel/282790-xbox-prepara-nova-onda-cortes-demissoes-mesmo-fechamento-estudios.htm

Leave a Reply