Gaming Club
Sign in to comment


Xbox CEO Sarah Bond angers fans as she fails to address questions about firings and studios closing

Sarah Bond, CEO of Xbox, was asked about the situation with the closing of Tango Gameworks, Arkane Austin, and other studios, but her answers have failed to calm fans down.

sarah bond xbox hi fi rush tango gameworks

Behind the recent closure of studios Tango Gameworks and Arkane Austin by Xbox, users online are looking closely at all the movements that Microsoft takes, including the possible increase in the price of Game Pass and marketing decisions about Senua’s Saga: Hellblade II. But the one that has raised the most blisters among fans are the evasions done by Sarah Bond, CEO of Xbox, when asked about the current dismantling of several of its now former developers.

Xbox president Sarah Bond causes the ire of fans for her evasiveness when asked about studio closures

Sarah Bond, president of Xbox, was interviewed by Bloomberg on May 10, 2024. The full interview, about 17 minutes long, can be seen here:

The meeting had as its main points of conversation the current state of the video game industry in general and that of the Xbox brand in particular. Given the recent news, Bloomberg’s Dina Bass had to ask uncomfortable questions. At minute 4:00 the moment that has gone viral on social networks begins.

Bass directly asks Bond about the closure of Tango Gameworks, not mentioning them by name but correctly stating that Xbox players and employees were understandably shaken by the fact that they released an award-winning title, Hi-Fi Rush. Then, she asked if that wasn’t enough to ensure the future of the studio.

Bond responded: “One of the things I really love about the games industry is it’s a creative art form, and it means that the situation and what successes for each game and studio is also really unique. There’s no one-size-fits-all to it for us. And so we look at each studio, each game team, and we look at a whole variety of factors when we’re faced with making decisions and trade-offs like that. But it all comes back to our long-term commitment to the games we create, the devices we build, the services, and ensuring we’re setting ourselves up to be able to deliver on those promises.” The specific moment can be seen below:

This has raised the ire of many users of social networks and platforms like X at what is perceived as a “scripted answer” or simply an evasion to a fairly direct question about the closure of Tango Gameworks despite the awards obtained by Hi-Fi Rush —including the BAFTA for Best Animation in 2024—and despite the company’s own celebrations and previous praise.

Considering the company’s recent controversies, it is expected that its top leaders—including Bond—will measure their words very carefully. But this conscious effort to avoid talking directly about these brand issues is doing them more harm than good., as can be deduced by taking a look at social networks or comments on online forums.

The clear message that comes from these studio closures, even though their video games have been awarded, is that prestige is not rewarded as it deserves, the big publishers move the goalposts at will and only gross sales matter. And this can only result in an increasingly homogeneous video game industry dominated by proposals afraid of breaking out of the mold.