Xbox head Matt Booty implies a change in leadership may have contributed to Tango Gameworks' closure

by Danny Craig  · 
Xbox head Matt Booty implies a change in leadership may have contributed to Tango Gameworks' closure

Matt Booty, Head of Xbox Game Studios, has implied that leadership changes at Hi-Fi Rush developer Tango Gameworks played a role in Microsoft's decision to close the studio entirely last month.

The details:

  • Speaking on Variety's Strictly Business podcast, Booty was asked about the closure of Tango Gameworks, why it occurred, and if other options were considered, such as selling the developer. In response, he suggested that the decision was influenced by a change in leadership at the studio. “There are a lot of things that go into success for a game. You know, what leadership do you have? What creative leadership do you have? Is the team the same team that shipped something successful previously,” Booty said. “We have to look at all of those things together and ask ourselves, are we set up for success going forward? And while there may have been factors or situations that previously led to success, they may not all still be in place as you look at what you’re doing going forward.”

  • Although the executive did not name anyone in particular, it's likely he was referring to founder Shinji Mikami, who left the developer last year to start a new studio. The former Resident Evil director and producer stated at the time that he had planned to leave the company for eight years, but chose to stay to wrap up the projects he was involved in.

  • Booty went on to suggest that closing Tango was not the only option that Microsoft had explored, citing examples of former Microsoft-owned studios that went independent, such as Toys for Bob. "I think back to a studio called Twisted Pixel in Texas that we acquired and then for a sort of change in goals, it wasn't a perfect match anymore, but that studio today is still thriving," Booty said. “So we absolutely look at what the possible business options are to keep a studio open or perhaps have it change hands, and it’s just one of the things that we look at across the board. Sometimes these things come together, sometimes they don’t.”

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