Hi-Fi Rush 2, new Dishonored reportedly pitched prior to Arkane Austin and Tango Gameworks closure

Hi-Fi Rush 2 and a new Dishonored are two potential projects lost in the closure of Tango Gameworks and Arkane Austin.
dishonored fallout 3 remaster oblivion game leak microsoft bethesda

A new report from Bloomberg‘s Jason Schreier has alleged that Hi-Fi Rush 2 and a new immersive sim “such as a new entry in the Dishonored series” had been pitched by Tango Gameworks and Arkane Austin prior to their sudden closures. It’s believed the two games had not begun production, but both studios were keen to begin work, with Arkane Austin being particularly enthusiastic about returning to their roots as a studio.

Given Microsoft’s decision to close Arkane Austin and Tango Gameworks, it’s safe to say these games won’t eventuate. That’s despite Microsoft continuously sharing high praise for Hi-Fi Rush – including in a recent town hall meeting designed to address the studio closures – and the potential excitement around a new Dishonored game.

What’s most strange about the mention of Dishonored here is that a third game in the franchise was internally listed as being in development, per a document leaked during the FTC v. Microsoft court case of late 2023. This document, which seemingly originated from Microsoft itself, listed a range of games in the works, including Dishonored 3, a Ghostwire: Tokyo sequel (also presumably cancelled, given the original was made by Tango Gameworks), a Fallout 3 remaster, an Oblivion remaster, and more.

Read: Fallout 3 and Oblivion remasters, Dishonored 3, and more seemingly revealed in US court filing

Microsoft never acknowledged the leaked list of titles, but there were reasons to believe the list was legitimate – and that the games listed were planned to be in development, at some point. It’s unclear if Arkane Austin’s pitch related to that aforementioned Dishonored 3, and if Tango Gameworks had been working on Ghostwire: Tokyo prior to shut down, but it does appear the studio closures were sudden and unexpected.

Notably, the justification for the closures has also been fairly unclear, with Microsoft providing no public comment, and reportedly sharing little with developers in its recent town hall meeting. Per Bloomberg, Xbox president Matt Booty and head of ZeniMax Studios Jill Braff implied ZeniMax’s studios were spread too thin like “peanut butter on bread” and leadership was having trouble managing them all.

There was also suggestion that requests for additional staff were untenable, and forced leadership to consider the viability of both studios.

“It’s hard to support nine studios all across the world with a lean central team with an ever-growing plate of things to do,” Braff reportedly said. “I think we were about to topple over.”

This mismanagement has now led to significant layoffs, with many at Arkane Austin, Tango Gameworks, and Alpha Dog Studios losing their jobs. In the process, the great potential for neat, creative stories like Hi-Fi Rush 2 and a new Dishonored adventure has also been lost. At this stage, both projects are likely dead in the water – casualties in the pursuit of endless financial growth.

Leah J. Williams is a gaming and entertainment journalist who's spent years writing about the games industry, her love for The Sims 2 on Nintendo DS and every piece of weird history she knows. You can find her tweeting @legenette most days.