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Microsoft says it needs games like Hi-Fi Rush the day after killing its studio

A screenshot from the video game Hi-Fi Rush.
Image: Tango Gameworks

Today, one day after Microsoft announced that it would shut down four of its games studios, Matt Booty, head of Xbox Game Studios, held a town hall to discuss the division’s future goals. “We need smaller games that give us prestige and awards,” Booty told employees, according to internal remarks shared with The Verge.

For some listeners on the call, it was a surprising goal: Microsoft had just shut down the Japanese developer Tango Gameworks, which was coming off the small, prestigious hit title Hi-Fi Rush.

Hi-Fi Rush, which was a surprise release last year, was praised for its innovation and charm. The rhythm action game featured music by The Black Keys and Nine Inch Nails, with an art style that evoked the hyper-stylized games of the…

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