Wondering why Xbox closed Hi-Fi Rush Studio? Matt Booty says he won’t say, then suggests a change in leadership could make a difference


After Microsoft shut down several studios last month, including Hi-Fi developer Rush Tango Gameworks and Redfall studio Arkane Austin, Xbox executives were asked several times – as you might expect – about what was being done. Matt Booty is the latest to weigh in on this topic, particularly regarding Tango, and his response is fascinating.

Before Booty, the current head of Xbox Game Studios, saying what follows, the console maker’s great cheesecake, Phil Spencer, linked the closure to the need to “run a sustainable business”, meaning that “sometimes I have to make difficult decisions that, frankly, “These are not decisions that I love, but decisions that someone has to make.”

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Now, during the interview, they were asked specifically about the closure of Tango Variety’s “Strictly Business” podcastBooty seems to suggest that the change in studio leadership was due to the departure of founder Shinji Mikami in 2023.

“I won’t go into the minutiae of this decision, mainly out of respect for the people there,” said the director, “just because it took a lot of work for Rush to provide the hi-fi equipment, it was a great match that worked well for us.”

He then continued: “I think what’s significant to take into account is that for us this is as much a forward-looking situation as it is a look back at a specific match. There are many factors that contribute to the success of a match. What kind of leadership do you have? What kind of original leadership do you have? Is this the same team that created something successful before?

“We have to look at all these things together and ask ourselves, are we prepared for future success? And while there may have been factors and situations that previously led to success, not all of them may yet be in place, as you look at. on what you do in the future.”

Booty then addressed the idea of ​​options other than closure that were potentially being considered, citing the fact that studios like Toys For Bob and Twisted Pixel went independent after becoming part of the MS machine. “We are absolutely considering the possible business options of maintaining the studio or perhaps changing ownership, and this is just one of the things we are considering comprehensively,” the executive said. “Sometimes these things go together, sometimes they don’t.”

Chances are that if you’re a fan of Hi-Fi Rush or other Tango games, these words won’t make you feel any better about what happened than they did with Spencer, especially since you’ve accepted that the work of people who put out good games can simply come down to certain things that, in Booty’s words, sometimes just don’t work from a corporate standpoint.

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