Microsoft Reportedly Approves New Game From Hellblade 2 Developer Ninja Theory

Microsoft Reportedly Approves New Game From Hellblade 2 Developer Ninja Theory

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Microsoft has reportedly approved a new game from Hellblade 2 developer Ninja Theory and has no plans to close the studio.

Windows Central reports that this new game from the Cambridge, UK-based developer is in addition to Project Mara, the already announced upcoming psychological horror game that takes place entirely in a single upscale apartment. There are no plans whatsoever to close the studio any time soon, Windows Central added. IGN has asked Microsoft for comment.

Microsoft today releases Ninja Theory’s Hellblade 2 four-and-a-half years after it was announced and six years after Microsoft bought the studio, bringing it into the Xbox Game Studios fold. IGN’s Hellblade 2 review returned an 8/10. We said: “Senua’s Saga: Hellblade II is another Viking-worthy feast for the senses that meets the high bar set by its predecessor, even if it never really manages to clear it.”

Yesterday, a day before launch, Ninja Theory studio head Dom Matthews issued a heartfelt statement to fans, expressing gratitude for their support, along with the development team for working on Senua’s Saga: Hellblade 2.

Some have expressed concern for Ninja Theory after Microsoft shocked the video game world by announcing the closure of a number of Bethesda studios, including Hi-Fi Rush developer Tango Gameworks and Redfall developer Arkane Austin. The cuts come as part of sweeping layoffs announced earlier this year that affect 1,900 staff at Microsoft’s gaming business.

Xbox boss Phil Spencer has indicated that Microsoft’s gaming cuts are the result of a video game market that is failing to grow amid rising development costs, but Spencer and other Xbox executives are also reportedly under pressure to make cuts following the company’s $69 billion acquisition of Call of Duty maker Activision Blizzard.

In an email to staff sent by Matt Booty, head of Xbox Game Studios, Microsoft blamed the Bethesda cuts on a “reprioritization of titles and resources.” In the email, first reported by IGN, Booty said: “we are making these tough decisions to create capacity to increase investment in other parts of our portfolio and focus on our priority games.”

Earlier this month, Xbox president Sarah Bond responded to questions about Microsoft’s decision to shut a number of much-loved studios, insisting it was about ensuring the Xbox business remains healthy for the long-term during what she called “this moment of transition.”

Microsoft is set to host an Xbox showcase event in June as well as fully unveil the next mainline Call of Duty game, Black Ops 6.

Wesley is the UK News Editor for IGN. Find him on Twitter at @wyp100. You can reach Wesley at [email protected] or confidentially at [email protected].

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