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The “Feel the Burn” marketing tag quickly became obsolete after Xbox Studios closed.

Microsoft has changed the slogan for its new Xbox wireless controller amid backlash following the closure of four studios.

Just as Microsoft announced it would be closing four game development studios, the slogan “Feel the Burn Today” appeared in an Xbox blog post for the new Fire Vapor Special Edition controller. Social media users immediately noticed the bad timing, and Microsoft acknowledged it.

On May 7, Xbox Game Studios announced the closure of Arkane Austin and Tango Gameworks, and the loss of all jobs there. Two other studios have also been shut down, according to an email sent to employees by Xbox Game Studios head Matt Booty.

The shutdown resulted in the removal of post-launch support for Redfall, including any DLC expansions. However, Arkane Studios, based in Lyon, France, will continue to operate. Arkane Austin’s May 2023 supernatural shooter is officially finished and won’t receive any post-launch support, including the two DLC characters Xbox promised at launch.

After unveiling its new gaming controller and releasing a tagline, Microsoft has cautiously updated its Xbox Wire blog post for the controller. The original title, “Feel the Fire Today with the Fire Vapor Special Edition Controller,” was changed to a more generic title announcing the arrival of new color variants in the in-development Vapor line of Xbox wireless controllers.

Microsoft is one of several companies making large-scale layoffs in its gaming divisions, laying off about 1,900 employees from its Xbox, Activision Blizzard and ZeniMax teams in January.

Games industry outrage

Shortly after the news broke, Lyon head coach Dinga Bakaba shared an impassioned post describing the situation as “heartbreaking”. He added: “Don’t let us get caught up in a gold rush, don’t use us as straw men for miscalculations/blind spots, don’t let our work environment become a Darwinian jungle.”

Bethesda regional director Alistair Hatch said he was “angry. Frustrated. Shocked. Furious. Speechless. Dumbfounded. Confused.”

Featured image: Microsoft


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