Xbox Cancelling Studios to Prioritize Bethesda IPs Is Not Just Evil, It’s Foolish

Bethesda’s IP isn’t strong enough to carry this many companies. It’s a bad move for creativity and the industry as a whole for Xbox to close Bethesda studios for blockbuster titles, focusing only on massive projects like Elder Scrolls and Fallout.

Such a move may hurt the diversity of games being developed and shows a trend towards prioritizing big-budget games over unique and innovative projects. This week, Xbox announced the closure of several studios under the Bethesda umbrella, including Arkane Austin, Tango Gameworks, and more.

This decision follows Microsoft’s$7.5 billion purchase of Bethesda parent company ZeniMax, which was motivated by concerns that Starfield might become a PlayStation exclusive. The closures are particularly lamented by the gaming community since the affected studios have produced excellent games such as Dishonored, Prey, and Hi-Fi Rush.

The head of Xbox Studios stated that the closures are aimed at prioritizing high-impact titles and further investing in Bethesda’s portfolio of blockbuster games. This seems to refer to the main Bethesda team working on the company’s most popular franchises, Elder Scrolls and Fallout.

However, this approach may overlook the potential of studios like Tango Gameworks, which was in the process of pitching a sequel to the beloved Hi-Fi Rush. Bethesda’s overwhelming number of projects led to the decision to shut down what was deemed as extraneous studios.

This decision seems contrary to the fact that Bethesda’s blockbuster games require more resources and time, can be huge money sinks, and may not always be well received, as evidenced by Starfield. The industry’s growing focus on blockbuster games is seen as detrimental to games that take chances and aren’t “blockbusters”.

The decision to focus primarily on big projects is critiqued as both inhumane and a bad business strategy. While the closures have put talented employees out of work, there is hope that they will continue making cool games, as their absence will be a loss to the industry.

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