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Hi-Fi Rush and Other Games Affected by Xbox Shutdowns on Live Streaming

In early May, Xbox came under fire when it announced that it would be shutting down four game studios. Although Xbox is suffering from the same slowdown that hit the rest of the industry this year, commentators were still confused by the sudden closures for a couple of key reasons. Firstly, Microsoft had only just acquired these four studios from Bethesda in 2021, yet they were now claiming they no longer had the resources to support them. Secondly, and more importantly to Xbox players, the studios being closed were responsible for fan-favorite games such as Hi-Fi Rush.

Developer Tango Gameworks earned critical acclaim last year for Hi-Fi Rush, the game being praised for its cohesive, energetic atmosphere and fast-paced rhythm gameplay. Even Aaron Greenberg, VP of Xbox Games Marketing, praised the game’s breakout performance. Yet despite this, Tango Gameworks couldn’t avoid the chopping block. President of Xbox Sarah Bond could only provide a rambling explanation for the decision, alienating Xbox players with “corpo speak”.

Fans feel strongly that Hi-Fi Rush performed well, with the potential to become a franchise for Xbox. But perhaps this passionate defense isn’t backed up by the numbers, as suggested by Xbox’s decision to focus on other IPs. In this article, we’re zooming in on live-streaming performance alone to see how Hi-Fi Rush fared.

Hi-Fi Rush is Adored, but Underperformed on Live-Streaming Platforms

Among the four studios being shut down, two stand out for their potential live-streaming success: Tango Gameworks and Arkane Austin. Tango Gameworks saw the most success on Twitch and YouTube with The Evil Within 2, which generated 7.6M hours watched in its first 30 days. Meanwhile, Arkane Austin’s much-anticipated co-op FPS Redfall fell short of the mark with just 3.3M hours watched over its first 30 days. Fans were frustrated with the game’s server issues and lack of an offline mode – an issue that will finally be rectified in Redfall’s last patch before Arkane Austin closes down.

What about Hi-Fi Rush then? Despite the overwhelming fan support for Hi-Fi Rush (such as a recent spate of reverse review bombing), the numbers tell a different story of the game’s supposed success. On live-streaming platforms, Hi-Fi Rush generated just 2.7M hours watched in its first 30 days. This not only falls short of both The Evil Within 2 and Redfall, but even fails to meet the demand of other recently-released original IP action titles like Forspoken (which saw 3.9M hours watched in its first 30 days). Sales figures weren’t particularly strong either, given that Hi-Fi Rush was made free for Game Pass holders.

None of this is to say that fans shouldn’t keep fighting for Hi-Fi Rush – in fact, quite the opposite. While sales figures and metrics may feel solid to corporate stakeholders, public outcries are powerful in shaping a company’s path forward. By speaking up, gamers are letting Xbox know that they want more original, well-executed games in their library.

For now, fans can follow the creators of Hi-Fi Rush themselves. For example, Shinji Mikami, founder of Tango Gameworks, left the company in 2023 and announced in March of 2024 that he would be starting a new studio, Kamuy. Stream Hatchet eagerly anticipates the release of Kamuy’s first game.

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