Amidst rumours that Tango Gameworks’ Hi-Fi Rush did not perform according to expectations, Xbox marketing VP Aaron Greenburg has rejected the ongoing narrative, confirming the game was a ‘break out hit’ for Xbox.
Hi-Fi Rush surprised many in January 2023, as it was released directly after an Xbox and Bethesda Developer Direct showcase with zero marketing or awareness beforehand. Regardless of this surprise drop, it quickly became one of the most talked-about games of the year, thanks to a strong combat system, and style in spades.
In the GamesHub review of Hi-Fi Rush, we called it an exuberant experience buoyed by excellent rhythm mechanics:
‘A half-dozen hours with Hi-Fi Rush so far, and I can’t stop smiling,’ Edmond Tran, GamesHub managing editor wrote. ‘It makes a very strong impression in its opening hours – the art direction is bright and eye-popping, and the characters are full of life, endearing and self-aware. The Saturday morning cartoon-style animation, where characters move at a lower framerate to mimic a hand-animated cel style, looks fantastic. There is a lot of love, artistry, and attention to detail here.’
Other publications shared similar praise – and across social media, Hi-Fi Rush was a near-instant sensation. Despite this, it was recently reported by industry insider Jeff Grubb that the game had failed to meet sales expectations, and ‘didn’t make the money it needed to make’.
While it’s rare that large companies comment on rumours and hearsay, Grubb’s report garnered some traction, and was picked up by several news outlets. Eventually, Greenberg responded to definitively quash the allegations, via Twitter.
‘Hi-Fi Rush was a break out hit for us and our players in all key measurements and expectations. We couldn’t be happier with what the team at Tango Gameworks delivered with this surprise release,’ Greenburg said. Xbox boss Phil Spencer retweeted this statement, affirming his support.
Subsequently, Grubb clarified his comments and admitted fault in the use of the word ‘needed’ in regard to sales expectations, as he was not privy to Xbox’s internal conversations and wasn’t aware of any specific company targets for the surprise release.
‘No matter what, HFR isn’t a flop, and Tango’s future is bright,’ Grubb said.
Given the colour, creativity, and imagination behind Hi-Fi Rush – and the boldness of its surprise release – we certainly hope Tango Gameworks has a long and glittering future ahead. Hi-Fi Rush is a real gem, and it appears Xbox has plenty of faith in the adventure.