Ninja Theory trends on X as gamers fear for studio following Tango Gameworks closure

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It has been a very turbulent time in the video game industry over the past week or so. Following the major controversy with Sony and Helldivers 2, Microsoft soon took the attention away from the blue brand by announcing the closure of four of its studios which will likely cause thousands of layoffs for the company, leading to gamers calling for the Xbox CEO Phil Spencer to resign. With Microsoft not having many exclusive titles under its belt this generation, shutting down multiple studios seems like an odd move and many are worried that it is only going to get worse in the coming months, with the likes of Ninja Theory on people’s minds as its next flagship title Hellblade 2 draws closer to its release date.

It was announced on May 7th that 4 Bethesda-owned studios were being closed by Microsoft, with some coming as a major shock to the gaming community. Arkane Austin, the team behind Redfall, has been closed down despite not fulfilling its DLC obligation for the game with its Hero pass. Alpha Dog Studios, the studio behind the mobile game Mighty DOOM was also closed, with the game going offline on August 7th. Roundhouse Games faired the best in this situation as the studio will be merged with ZeniMax Online Studios to continue work on The Elder Scrolls Online. But, the most surprising closure is Tango Gameworks, the studio behind Hi-Fi Rush that was founded by iconic game producer Shinji Mikami, the mastermind behind the Resident Evil franchise.

Colorful illustration of diverse animated characters engaged in dynamic action scenes from the game "Hi-fi Rush," set against a futuristic backdrop.
Image via Tango Gameworks

Despite Hi-Fi Rush scoring 90% on Metacritic, receiving universal acclaim, and recently seeing a PS5 port in March 2024, it wasn’t enough to save the studio from the chopping block, which also means that it is unlikely we will ever see The Evil Within 3 being developed. On paper, Tango Gameworks should have been set for life as gamers had a lot of faith in the studio and were excited to see what was next from the development team. But if they weren’t safe, gamers are now wondering which studio could be next to face mass layoffs, and some are pointing to Ninja Theory.

Ninja Theory is the team behind the Hellblade series, which will see its second mainline entry ‘Senua’s Saga: Hellblade II’ launch on May 21st on Xbox and PC. The studio is also known for the Devil May Cry reboot in 2013 as well as the criminally underrated Enslaved: Odyssey to the West, and the original Xbox party game Kung Fu Chaos, check this one out if you never had the joy of playing it, its been 21 years and I’m still waiting for a sequel.

Hellblade 2 is Microsoft’s big release of 2024 and all eyes are on the game to determine whether Microsoft will once again drop the ball or not. From what we’ve seen so far in trailers, Hellblade 2 looks incredibly impressive and looks to push video game graphics to its limits as we get deeper into the current generation. But, what we see in the trailers and what we experience in-game are often two different things and gamers are hoping that it will live up to expectations. And if it doesn’t, some are worried that the studio could be the next to be shut down by Microsoft. If Hellblade 2 doesn’t perform as well as Microsoft hopes, there are two more chances for the green brand to succeed, with Obsidian’s Avowed set to release later this year, and S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2 also set to hit shelves after years of delays. But, if Hellblade 2 doesn’t meet expectations, my dream of Kung Fu Chaos 2 is very likely to never become a reality.

Xbox fans have taken to X to voice their concerns regarding the future of Ninja Theory, with @Murderstorm117 saying “Ninja Theory seeing Tango Gameworks get shut down and realizing Hellblade 2 releases in a couple of weeks with 0 marketing,” while @MischiefsYT has no optimism for the future of the company saying “I’m fully expecting to see Ninja Theory close it’s doors next year. The likelihood of Hellblade 2 being successful enough to keep Satya Nadella and Xbox happy is practically zero.”

@awildjessichu is worried about many of Microsoft’s brands and the future is looking bleak for the company if she is correct, saying “Ninja Theory, Obsidian, Double Fine, id, and Machine-Games all seem unsafe now and we should be absolutely furious about it. Video games are more than live service, annual release titles and open world behemoths that come out every six years. Innovation and creativity are dying.”

It is also great to see X users support Ninja Theory and praise its past releases, with @DerekBrocks speaking highly of the Devil May Cry reboot saying “Ninja Theory was COOKING with DmC: Devil May Cry, the combat is still incredibly satisfying, even without the series’ core mechanics of lock-on and style-switching, the visual feedback, the sound design and weapon combinations along with jump canceling is fire.”

Hellblade 2 is set to release on May 21st after having been announced back in 2019, a year before the Xbox Series X was released. As with other first and second-party Microsoft titles, the game will launch on Xbox Game Pass for both Xbox Series X and PC. But for those that want to own the game, it will cost $49.99 but unfortunately, no physical release of the game is on the cards right now.

About the Author

David Coulson

David is a gaming news writer here at VideoGamer His favorite franchises include Resident Evil and Final Fantasy. Despite being a gaming boomer, he still enjoys cranking 90s in Fortnite.

Senua’s Saga: Hellblade II

  • Release Date: May 21, 2024
    • - 31 December 2020 (PC, Xbox Series X)
  • Platform(s): PC, Xbox Series S/X, Xbox Series X
  • Genre(s): Action, Action Adventure