Xbox had ‘no interference’ with Hi-Fi Rush development, says director

Game John Johanas shared with us how the Xbox and Bethesda acquisition affected the the development of Hi-Fi Rush.

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Hi-Fi Rush is Tango Gameworks’ latest game, and following its release, game director John Johanas shared with us how the Xbox and Bethesda acquisition affected the game’s development.

Even before Xbox moved to acquire Activision-Blizzard, the gaming giant first made waves with its Bethesda acquisition. While this meant great things for Game Pass subscribers (given the number of new games added), some were concerned about the takeover. After all, a big company taking over isn’t typically seen as good news for any creative project.

Well, it turns out that there was little to no effect on the development, not exactly surprising given how well the game turned out. When we asked about the acquisition and what it was like for the studio at the time in our recent interview, Johanas said:

It really didn’t have any effect on the development of the game. 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.

Saying that there was zero effect isn’t exactly accurate as Xbox’s acquisition did help the team narrow down its focus to only releasing the game on Xbox and PC. Aside from that though, Xbox has been hands off with their approach with Tango Gameworks.

I think Xbox is set on having Bethesda still manage their company like they did before,” said Johanas. “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.’

Because of the game’s glowing reception, Tango Gameworks has essentially proven that it has what it takes to come up with an exciting new game. The hope here is that Xbox continues this hands-off approach as it seems to be working, at least that’s the case for Bethesda’s studios.

Hi-Fi RUSH is available now on Xbox Series X|S, Windows, and Game Pass.

Check out our full interview with John Johanas here:

Full Interview: Hi-Fi Rush director John Johanas on the game’s development and surprise reveal