Microsoft has shut down four Bethesda studios. The layoffs impacted, among others, Arkane Austin and Tango Gameworks. Following media reports, the studios confirmed this decision and announced this on their social media platforms.

Head of Xbox Game Studios, Matt Booty, shared this information in a letter that affected employees received on May 7th. According to Booty, the restructuring was necessary so the company could focus its resources on projects with higher priority. Microsoft closed four studios three and a half years after acquiring ZeniMax in a deal worth $7.5 billion.

At Arkane Austin, they were working on DLC and several patches for Redfall, scheduled for release in 2024. Among other things, developers planned to introduce two playable characters into the shooter.

The next patch for Redfall was planned for release in May, which would have introduced an offline mode allowing players to play without an internet connection. This mode would have preserved the game's functionality in the future, even after servers were turned off. However, it will not see the light.

Some employees from Arkane Austin will be transferred to other departments within Microsoft. The IT giant did not share the total number of sacked employees.

Arkane Lyon, Bethesda Game Studios, Machine Games, and id Software were left intact. As for Arkane Austin and Tango Gameworks employees, they apparently did not see any indications of layoffs, so such news was a true shock. 

The gaming industry is still having some hard times as more companies cut the costs by reducing the number of staff. 2024 have not yet surpassed last year in this regard, but the trend is worrying.

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