Hi-Fi Rush
Image: Xbox, Bethesda

It's been another rough week for the video game industry, with Microsoft shutting down four Xbox studios. One closure in particular though that's created a lot of confusion (and even some outrage) is Tango Gameworks - the same team behind the award-winning and critically-acclaimed title Hi-Fi RUSH.

Appearing at Bloomberg Technology Summit this week, Xbox president Sarah Bond has now attempted to justify these recent studio closures - noting how the current state of the industry (including the lack of growth and how development cycles are typically much longer now) have played a part, and the objective on Microsoft's end during these times is to ensure the business is "healthy for the long term".

Xbox president Sarah Bond: "It's hard when you have to make decisions like that...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 going through a time of transition. The news we announced this week is an outcome of that and our commitment to make sure that the business is healthy for the long term."

Despite what's happened this week, Bond was quick to note Microsoft and Xbox are still committed to their studios and working with partners both "large and small" (interestingly, Matt Booty has reportedly said similar things during a town hall meeting this week). She went on to make special mention of Bethesda in this case, and how Xbox remains committed to the "role that it plays" within Xbox.

When directly asked about why the Hi-Fi RUSH studio was shut after winning awards and increasing Game Pass subscriptions, Bond suggested it was a "whole range of factors" when making decisions and tradeoffs, and stating how it's not necessarily a case of "one size fits all". Ultimately though, it apparently falls back on Microsoft's "long term" commitment to the health of its gaming business:

"It all comes back to our long term commitment to the games we create, the devices we build, the services, and ensuring that we're setting ourselves up to be able to deliver on those promises."

Earlier this week, it was suggested some of the studios closed (including Tango Gameworks) already had plans for future projects but they supposedly would have required more staff, which may have been a factor in the closure of these studios

Notably, Bond's latest response doesn't touch on the financial performance of Hi-Fi RUSH. While we know it reached millions on Game Pass, originally there were claims it "didn't make the money it needed to make". However, Xbox did respond to this at the time suggesting it was a "break out hit".

There are now also reports more studio closures could be on the way, with a "widespread cost-cutting initiative that still isn't finished".

What do you make of Sarah Bond's comments? Let us know in the comments.