As Xbox shutters studios, community concern mounts for the teams behind Doom, Avowed, Hellblade, and more

Indiana Jones and the Great Circle
(Image credit: Xbox Game Studios)

Following yesterday's abrupt closure of multiple Xbox studios, some players are expressing concern for the future of other acclaimed development teams.

On May 7, Microsoft announced the closure of four studios, including Hi-Fi Rush and The Evil Within studio Tango Gameworks and Prey and Dishonored studio Arkane Austin. The latter studio struggled with the release of Redfall, but had a strong legacy behind it, while the former released Hi-Fi Rush at the start of last year to critical acclaim and millions of players. Now, the fact that these studios could be closed out of nowhere has several people worried about the state of Microsoft's other major studios.

The most high-profile of those is Doom developer Id Software. The studio has been pretty quiet since the release of Doom Eternal in 2020, but a Twitter search throws up several results from players concerned that the team could be next on the chopping block if its current project underperforms.

That concern extends to multiple other studios, including Hellblade developer Ninja Theory, and Psychonauts developer Double Fine. With Hellblade 2 set to release later this month, some fans are already campaigning to drive sales of the game up in attempt to safeguard the studio, while others are pointing to upcoming games like Avowed and Indiana Jones and the Great Circle to help look after other Microsoft studios, like Obsidian and Machine Games.

Some of these studios are likely safe, at least for now - with two substantial RPG projects in Avowed and The Outer Worlds 2 on the way, Obsidian seems particularly secure, and I doubt Microsoft would be keen to do away with the Doom license. But crucial to the discussion around these closures is that critical and commercial success doesn't seem to be the safety net that many would expect. With The Elder Scrolls, Starfield, and Fallout seemingly the only franchises truly safe from Microsoft's Bethesda acquisition, it does seem as though Xbox has its eye on massive blockbusters rather than smaller, more experiential projects.

Keep a look out with our list of new games 2024.

Ali Jones
News Editor

I'm GamesRadar's news editor, working with the team to deliver breaking news from across the industry. I started my journalistic career while getting my degree in English Literature at the University of Warwick, where I also worked as Games Editor on the student newspaper, The Boar. Since then, I've run the news sections at PCGamesN and Kotaku UK, and also regularly contributed to PC Gamer. As you might be able to tell, PC is my platform of choice, so you can regularly find me playing League of Legends or Steam's latest indie hit.