Hi-Fi Rush gets a bittersweet last patch as Tango Gameworks takes its final bow: 'Thank you again… You're all rockstars!'

Hi-Fi Rush characters sitting together, looking off into the distance toward a setting sun
(Image credit: Tango Gameworks)

Just days after Microsoft announced the upcoming closure of Tango Gameworks (alongside Arkane Austin, Alpha Dog Games, and Roundhouse Games), the studio has released one final patch for the outstanding rhythm-based action game Hi-Fi Rush.

Hi-Fi Rush was unequivocally great. It holds an "overwhelmingly positive" user rating on Steam across more than 23,000 user reviews and an 87% aggregate score on Metacritic, although—full disclosure here—we gave it a less-than-stellar 69% in our own review. It was also "a break out hit for us and our players in all key measurements and expectations," in the words of Microsoft's Aaron Greenberg, who added, "We couldn’t be happier with what the team at Tango Gameworks delivered with this surprise release."

Yet somehow that big, undeniable success—which came on top of past critical success with The Evil Within games and Ghostwire: Tokyo—wasn't enough to justify keeping the studio around. Even more baffling, less than a day after killing Tango Gameworks, Xbox Game Studios head Matt Booty had the nerve to hold a town hall meeting in which he said, "We need smaller games that give us prestige and awards." (Here's what Hi-Fi Rush director John Johanas thought of that).

Context matters and, as staff writer Harvey Randall noted in his analysis of the situation, Hi-Fi Rush wasn't exactly a low-budget indie game. But neither was it a major blockbuster like Halo, Forza, or pretty much everything Activision Blizzard does, a point driven home by its stealth release in January 2023—aside from some dedicated rumor-watchers, nobody knew it even existed prior to its launch. As Harvey put it, if Hi-Fi Rush wasn't considered a relatively small, side-project kind of thing, why roll the dice on a zero-hype, "take it and go" launch?

(Image credit: Kazuaki Egashira (Twitter))

There was no better answer to be found in Xbox president Sarah Bond's explanation of the closure, which explained nothing at all. Ultimately, it seems to come down to a single, bleak thought: Making good games—even when they're commercial and critical hits—isn't enough to guarantee a secure future. Decisions are made in corporate boardrooms, where the game themselves are essentially irrelevant. 

It's not as though we haven't seen plenty of evidence to that effect over the past half year and a half, but the closure of Tango Gameworks lands like a particularly egregious reminder that the gears of capitalism will grind anything that adds up to a better percentage in a quarterly report. The development legend and Tango founder Shinji Mikami's reaction summed it all up in a word: "sad".

Anyway, to the matter at hand:

The farewell message attached to today's final patch is brief and bittersweet: "We’ve released a patch today that takes care of some remaining issues. Check out the changes, and thank you again for your support of Hi-Fi RUSH. You're all rockstars!"

So were you, Tango Gameworks. Another studio that deserved a whole lot better than this.

The full patch notes are below.

We’ve released a patch today that takes care of some remaining issues.

Check out the changes, and thank you again for your support of Hi-Fi RUSH. You're all rockstars!

PlayStation 5 and PC

  • (Track 01) After reducing QA-1MIL to zero health, a collision issue would occur where players would fall out of the geometry. Chai will now properly fall to the ground, instead of into the abyss.
  • (Track 01) Fixed an issue during the latter half of the 2D area whereby the camera would not follow Chai when the elevating lift falls.
  • (Track 02) Corrected a defect whereby if you touched Rekka during her electric charge, your final Rank would not correlate with the Chorus score.
  • Some issues would occur when trying to use Macaron’s Gravity Well while Rhythm Parrying an enemy. Well, this is now fixed!
  • (Track 03) Cutscenes previously would not play correctly if a Health Tank was consumed during the fight with the HG-0G. Feel free to block a few more hits with your face because this bug is fixed!
  • Fixed various text issues.

PlayStation 5

  • (Track 01) During the “Dodge Attack” tutorial, there was a discrepancy between what Smidge said and the text. The text will <NOW DISPLAY CORRECTLY>.

All Platforms

  • (Track 01) We also QA’d some other issues during the QA-1MIL fight, particularly around transitions between phases.
  • Fixed even more text bugs! They just don’t stop!
  • Drink prices adjusted in Vandelay vending machines to reflect local currency conversion.
Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.