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Chai in hi-fi Rush talks to his cat.
Image via Tango Gameworks

Xbox says it needs ‘smaller games’ right after shutting down award-winning studios

Weird timing.

Xbox seems to be on board with focusing more on smaller games, but the timing couldn’t be more ironic with the closure of a successful Microsoft studio.

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The head of Xbox Game Studios, Matt Booty, spoke to employees on May 8, saying, “We need smaller games that give us prestige and awards,” according to The Verge. Initially, this sounds great because who doesn’t love small games? After all, we saw the recent success of Tango Gameworks’ small rhythm action game, Hi-Fi RUSH, which claimed multiple awards, and it’d be awesome if Xbox put out more small and charming games like that. Coincidentally, Tango Gameworks was among the four game studios shut down by Microsoft just a day before Booty’s statement.

Hi-Fi Rush gameplay
We need more small games like Hi-Fi RUSH. Image via Tango Gameworks

This has naturally left people scratching their heads at the sequence of events. If Xbox wants to go harder in the small games department and produce award-winning content there, it sounds a bit silly to hear it also just shut down its award-winning small game studio.

“Let’s pretend we’re an indie studio because that’s whats trending right now. And if it doesn’t have whatever it is that artists call “soul” you’re fired,” one gamer commented, pointing to all the expected job cuts from these studio closures. Yet, it seems even if studios like Tango Gameworks were living up to Booty’s award-winning expectations, that still wouldn’t protect them from a tragic shutdown. “And if it does [have soul], guess what? Also fired,” another gamer responded.

And while some believe the studio closures won’t be “the end of the world,” they’re pointing fingers at Xbox head Phil Spencer for failing to help the studios thrive. It’s gotten to the point where gamers are apparently nuking his camp in Fallout 76.

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Image of Karli Iwamasa
Karli Iwamasa
Karli is a freelance writer and editor for Dot Esports based in the Bay Area. She mostly writes about Pokémon with a focus on competitive VGC but also enjoys VALORANT.