Xbox Exec Provides Reasoning Behind Bethesda Studio Closures

We're all somewhat in shock by today's news surrounding the closure of four Bethesda development studios, including the teams behind the likes of Hi-Fi RUSH and Redfall. While it's hard to wrap your head around why Xbox would go out and buy these studios only to shut them down a few years later, Xbox's internal email on the matter does give us some insight as to why Microsoft has made this move.

As per IGN, Xbox's Matt Booty addressed employees about the closures today. Booty said "the changes are grounded in prioritizing high-impact titles" and that it wants to invest in "Bethesda’s portfolio of blockbuster games and beloved worlds" - hinting that basically; Microsoft wants to focus on bigger releases and stronger IP over at Bethesda. Here's a bit more of that statement:

"Today I’m sharing changes we are making to our Bethesda and ZeniMax teams. These changes are grounded in prioritizing high-impact titles and further investing in Bethesda’s portfolio of blockbuster games and beloved worlds which you have nurtured over many decades.

To double down on these franchises and invest to build new ones requires us to look across the business to identify the opportunities that are best positioned for success. This reprioritization of titles and resources means a few teams will be realigned to others and that some of our colleagues will be leaving us."

"We are making these tough decisions to create capacity to increase investment in other parts of our portfolio and focus on our priority games."

Having said all of this, the email does go on to say that Microsoft still has an eye on new franchises within Xbox and Bethesda. Booty says that "we can invest more deeply in our portfolio of games and new IP" as a result of these changes, adding that Bethesda "will be well-positioned to build new IP, explore new game concepts, and expand on our existing franchises" in future.

Whatever happens next, it feels like it's going to be a bit of a bumpy ride in Xbox land, and we're hoping that the executive team comes out with some more public-facing statements on all of this as soon as possible. If you want to catch up on the day's big Xbox news, we'll drop some handy links to all of the drama down below.

What do you make of Xbox's justification for these changes at Bethesda? Discuss your thoughts on this down in the comments section below.