Xbox Acquisition “Didn’t Have Any Effect” on Hi-Fi Rush Development

John Johanas, the director of Hi-Fi Rush, says Microsoft did not interfere in the action game's development after acquiring Bethesda.

Posted By | On 17th, Feb. 2023

hi-fi rush

Microsoft has a massive catalog of first party studios under the Xbox Game Studios now, and though it hasn’t been able to manage them as well as many would have liked – what with all the delays and reboots and what have you – it has still seen its fair share of success stories. One of those, Hi-Fi Rush, recently came from Tango Gameworks, with the Japanese studio revealing and releasing its acclaimed rhythm action game on the very same day last week- and its developers only have good things to say about Microsoft’s management during the course of development.

Speaking during an interview with Ungeek, when asked about what (if any) impact Microsoft had on Hi-Fi Rush’s development after acquiring ZeniMax, the parent company of Tango Gameworks owner Bethesda, director John Johanas said that the impact was minimal, with the studio developing the game as a PC title prior to the acquisition and then being able to also focus on Xbox once the deal was finalized.

“It really didn’t have any effect on the development of the game,” Johanas said. “When we were making the game and the platform wasn’t decided yet, we were just making it on a PC and we didn’t know which other platforms it was going to be on. We also didn’t know what the future consoles were going to be at that point either.

“Then the acquisition happened, so that made it a bit easier for us because we were able to focus on which platforms it will be released to help us polish the experience.”

Johanas went on to add that for the most part, during the course of development, Tango Gameworks’ points of contact were within Bethesda and ZeniMax, with Microsoft wanting to keep the existing structures and frameworks within the companies intact.

“I think Xbox is set on having Bethesda still manage their company like they did before,” he said. “So, we always communicated with Bethesda and, and ZeniMax about how the game should be. That was where all the conversations were from the beginning to the very end.

“In that sense, the experience with Xbox was positive, because there was no interference in a good way. They were like ‘go ahead with what you think sounds cool.’”

Hi-Fi Rush is available now on Xbox Series X/S and PC. Read our review of the game through here.


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