Microsoft opens new game studio under Activision after shutting down 3 last week

Microsoft has announced that Activision has “formed an all-new internal studio” focusing on a new “narrative-based AAA franchise,” but gamers are scratching their heads after seeing a new studio open just a week after three others were closed.

The new studio, Elsewhere Entertainment, is headquartered in Warsaw, Poland, and is made up of developers that have worked on successful titles and franchises like The Last of Us, Uncharted, The Witcher, Cyberpunk, Destiny, Tom Clancy’s The Division, and Far Cry.

Splash artwork for Elsewhere Entertainment studio.
A new studio working on a new franchise. Image via Activision.

But the developers who were let go when their studios were shut down earlier this month can’t be too pleased to see a new studio get “full access to Activision’s resources and tools” and be given what is most likely a long runway to work on a brand new IP. On May 7, Microsoft shut down three development studios in Alpha Dog Games, Arkane Austin, and Tango Gameworks, while also merging Roundhouse Studios with ZeniMax Online Studios.

Fans and members of the wider gaming industry panned Microsoft for these decisions, saying it was unfair for the company’s mismanagement to lead to studio closures and people losing their jobs. Microsoft drew even more criticism when President Matt Booty reportedly said in a town hall meeting that the company wanted “smaller games that give us prestige and awards,” with many pointing to the critically acclaimed and highly awarded Hi-Fi Rush from recently closed Tango Gameworks as a prime example of that.

In the announcement today, Activision said it has opened its search for the “best-in-class talent from across the industry” to work at Elsewhere, and it should go without saying that the employees who were not re-assigned and were let go from last week’s layoffs should be given priority. It’s been a tumultuous year in terms of layoffs already, but hopefully a new studio can at least provide some relief to those searching for a job.

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