Two characters from hi-fi rush to symbolize xbox closures

In May, Microsoft announced the sudden closure of four of its game studios (Tango Gameworks, Arkane Austin, Alpha Dog Studios, and Roundhouse Games), and aside from a couple of platitudes from Xbox’s president Sarah Bond about the decisions being hard, the tech giant has been silent on the issue until now.

Speaking at IGN Live, Phil Spencer, the CEO of Microsoft Gaming, finally addressed the layoffs and closures.

“The closure of any team is hard obviously on the individuals there, hard on the team,” Spencer said. “I haven’t been talking publicly about this, because right now is the time for us to focus on the team and the individuals. It’s obviously a decision that’s very hard on them, and I want to make sure through severance and other things that we’re doing the right thing for the individuals on the team. It’s not about my PR, it’s not about Xbox PR. It’s about those teams.

“In the end, I’ve said over and over, I have to run a sustainable business inside the company and grow, and that means sometimes I have to make hard decisions that frankly are not decisions I love, but decisions that somebody needs to go make.

“We will continue to go forward. We will continue to invest in what we’re trying to go do in Xbox and build the best business we can, which ensures we can continue to do shows like the one we just did.”

While some will be glad that Spencer has finally said something about the closures, his statements closely echo those of Sarah Bond, who spoke at Bloomberg’s Tech Summit, leading to inevitable frustration from some that there isn’t more to be said about the situation.

“You know, it’s always extraordinarily hard when you have to make decisions like that,” Bond said. “I’ll go back to what I was saying about the industry. And when we looked at those fundamental trends, we feel a deep responsibility to ensure that the games we make, the devices we build, the services that we offer are there through moments, even when the industry isn’t growing and when you’re through a time of transition. And the news we announced earlier this week is an outcome of that, and our commitment to make sure that the business is healthy for the long term.”

Featured image credit: Tango Gameworks/Bethesda

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