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Xbox is Reportedly Planning More Cuts and Game Pass Price Hike

Microsoft and Xbox are reportedly planning more cuts following this week’s sudden closure of several Bethesda studios including Arkane Austin and Tango Gameworks. According to new reports, Xbox is also considering a Game Pass price hike, raising the monthly subscription cost of its service.

The report comes from Bloomberg’s Jason Schreier who also leaked in the same report that Hi-Fi Rush 2 and a potential new Dishonored game were pitched by Tango Gameworks and Arkane Austin before Microsoft closed the studios. According to Schreier, Microsoft isn’t done cutting costs at the company, reportedly telling staff across Xbox Game Studios that more cuts are on the way. Xbox also supposedly sent buyout offers to some ZeniMax staff.

Elsewhere in the report, Schreier reveals that Xbox is now under a lot of scrutiny following its almost $70 billion purchase of Activision Blizzard. As for why Tango Gameworks and Arkane Austin were closed, it was simply chalked down to “bad timing” though a more concrete justification wasn’t provided.

A separate report by The Verge’s Tom Warren sheds more light on the developments inside Xbox, where several new details were revealed. According to Warren, Microsoft is debating whether or not it should bring future Call of Duty releases to Game Pass at all. Microsoft is also reportedly considering another price increase for Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, which is to be expected.

Another point mentions that the strategy has now shifted from bringing more games to Game Pass to bringing more games to other platforms after Xbox ported games like Sea of Thieves, Hi-Fi Rush and others to PlayStation and Xbox earlier this year. Warren briefly mentions that Hellblade 2 is another game that Xbox is considering bringing over to PS5. Even if it’s brought over to Sony’s platform, there’s apparently no guarantee that it will be a success.

The report says that employees at Xbox are bracing for what’s next, with many expecting future layoffs to core Xbox Game Studios teams. As with all reports, take this with a pinch of salt for now, though the two sources mentioned above are quite reputable.

Source: Bloomberg / The Verge

Editor-in-Chief of Nexus Hub, writer at GLITCHED. Former writer at The Gaming Report and All Otaku Online. RPG addict that has wonderful nightmares of Bloodborne 2.

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