Microsoft closes four studios; Redfall, Hi-Fi Rush developers among those shuttered

So, this just happened today. Before you question what this has to do with Forza, it’s worth remembering that Redfall was positioned to be the start of XBox’s 2023 “ground offensive”, so to speak. And Hi-Fi Rush was critically acclaimed, yet it’s rumored that it’s studio was shut down because of poor sales. Both games were Day 1 Game Pass releases.

In the wake of Forza Motorsport 2023’s poor release, I’d seen it proposed on multiple fronts that Game Pass would make up for any sales shortcomings and initial poor sentiment. Let today’s news be the starkest reminder yet that Game Pass is not going to save Forza Motorsport 2023.


I wouldn’t be surprised in the slightest if microsoft decided to axe forza motorsport and turn 10. There’s no way this title is making them money.

I’ve hypothesized before that the Motorsport brand is likely going to get the Rockstar treatment and be used as bait for future Horizon updates and games, as that franchise is in need of a refresh itself. But it’s never going to see a full release again, not in this generation or the next at least. Motorsport 2023 is a mortal blow to the brand’s hopes for survival.

I don’t think Turn 10’s getting outright axed (yet) because of the ForzaTech engine - that’s too valuable to just scrap outright, particularly where Playground Games is concerned. The studio is well on it’s way to being a permanent support studio, though.

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I’m a bit concerned how Game Pass will affect upcoming games, it does seem to incentivise DLCs and microtransactions unfortunately.

I’ve found Game Pass to be great for playing games I wouldn’t have risked buying before and overall I’ve probably spent more as a result from it, but I’m in the minority.

I think Microsoft/Xbox saw it get good numbers initially and overestimated the growth potential of it. A bit like Kinect I suppose.

Game Pass, ideally, is supposed to provide a steady stream of customers towards various games because it does what demos used to do, which is give players a taste of the game to come.

Problem is, give people a chance to play a game for free or as cheaply as possible, and they’ll do just that. Game Pass doesn’t limit players the way demos do in an effort to entice purchases, so that revenue stream dries up. I suspect that’s what happened to HiFi Rush. People played it on Game Pass, finished it, then deleted it from their system. Very few people actually said, “I like this game enough to own it,” then went and bought a copy for themselves. Unit sales crater, and Tango (the developer) gets shut down.

It’s up to Turn 10 to stop itself from becoming “the Forza Horizon support studio”.

Let’s see what they can do.