Microsoft Announces New Game Studio Amid Controversy

Microsoft Announces New Game Studio Amid Controversy

17. May 2024 by Valentin Pasetti

Microsoft has made headlines by unveiling a new internal game development studio under Activision, named Elsewhere Entertainment, which will focus on creating a narrative-based AAA franchise.

However, this announcement has sparked confusion and criticism within the gaming community, especially coming just a week after the closure of three other studios.

The Establishment of Elsewhere Entertainment

Headquartered in Warsaw, Poland, Elsewhere Entertainment comprises developers with extensive experience working on renowned titles and franchises such as The Last of Us, Uncharted, The Witcher, Cyberpunk, Destiny, Tom Clancy’s The Division, and Far Cry.

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Backlash Over Recent Layoffs

However, the recent layoffs resulting from the closure of three development studios—Alpha Dog Games, Arkane Austin, and Tango Gameworks, along with the merger of Roundhouse Studios with ZeniMax Online Studios—have left many developers disillusioned.

The establishment of Elsewhere Entertainment, with its access to Activision’s resources and the likely prospect of a significant development timeline for a new IP, has raised concerns about the disparity in treatment between the laid-off developers and the creation of a new studio.

Criticism Against Microsoft

Criticism has been directed at Microsoft for what some perceive as mismanagement leading to studio closures and job losses. Reports suggesting that Microsoft aims for “smaller games that give us prestige and awards” have fueled further discontent, particularly in light of the closure of Tango Gameworks, responsible for the critically acclaimed Hi-Fi Rush.


Opportunities and Concerns

Activision’s announcement about Elsewhere Entertainment includes a call for top talent across the industry to join the new studio. Many argue that priority should be given to those who were not reassigned and were affected by the recent layoffs.

Despite the tumultuous year marked by layoffs, the establishment of a new studio offers hope to those seeking employment in the industry.

Microsoft’s Closure of Arkane Austin, Tango Gameworks, and Alpha Dog Games

Final Thoughts

In a year marred by industry layoffs, the establishment of Elsewhere Entertainment provides a glimmer of hope for displaced developers, though it does not alleviate concerns about the treatment of affected employees.

As the gaming community awaits further developments, the focus remains on ensuring fair treatment and opportunities for all developers affected by recent industry changes.