Games Industry News Roundup- May 14th, 2024

Here at Goonhammer, we know that it’s hard to keep track of all the news happening all the time in the games industry. So much is always going on with games of all sorts, and their related media, it can be a real blink-and-you’ll miss it situation. 

That’s why every week, we round up five of the biggest stories in the gaming sphere from the past week in the Games Industry News Roundup. Our trusty news boy, Dan “Swiftblade” Richardson, is here with the scoop.

Microsoft Closes Studios Behind Hi-Fi Rush and Prey

Credit: Xbox Game Studios/Microsoft

Just a few short days after Sony’s disastrous attempt to reinstate PSN account linking for Helldivers 2, a new mega-publisher has taken its place in the controversy hot seat. Last week, Microsoft shocked the industry by announcing that it would be shuttering several Bethesda subsidiary studios to make space for “prioritizing high-impact titles and further investing in Bethesda’s portfolio of blockbuster games,” according to Xbox Game Studios President Matt Booty.  

The two highest profile studios being shut down are Arkane Austin and Tango Gameworks. While Arkane Austin’s most recent big release, Redfall, was a commercial and critical flop, previous works from the studio such as the immersive sim Prey are cult classics. Japanese studio Tango Gameworks is most famous for its work on The Evil Within series and last year’s Xbox first party darling Hi-Fi Rush. Hi-Fi Rush was a resounding success for the studio, reaching 3 million players worldwide and winning several awards during gaming’s award show season. According to The Verge, Matt Booty would cite the success of Hi-Fi Rush during an internal team meeting despite closing Tango Gameworks the day before, saying that, “We need smaller games that give us prestige and awards.”

In a post on LinkedIn, former Microsoft Senior Public Relations Manager Brad Hilderbrand claimed that the recent multi-billion dollar acquisitions of other large gaming companies by Microsoft compounded with muted sales of first party titles released on Gamepass are to blame for the closures. Bloomberg reported that according to several Xbox insiders across multiple departments, more large cuts are likely on the way.   

Price Increase for Warhammer Products Coming in June

Credit: Games Workshop

Games Workshop announced last week on the Warhammer Community website that there will be a price hike for most of its products starting on June 10th. 

According to the article, most regions can expect a 3% to 5% raise on the prices of most items, with Sweden and Norway being hit with a much steeper 8% to 14% increase. The Warcom article states that these prices are due to global inflation, and these raises are roughly in-line with the British CPI (Consumer Price Index) of 3.2% in March 2024.  

Still, many find the increase in prices for Warhammer products to be a bitter pill, especially after Warhammer products increased in cost by 5% in 2022 and 6% in 2023

“We understand that no one likes a price rise and we’ve done our best to keep prices down,” the Warhammer Community article writes. “We’re giving you a heads-up now so that you have plenty of time to take advantage of current prices.”

Paint products, White Dwarf Magazine, and Black Library publications will not be affected by the price increase. 

Cynthia Williams Announced as the New CEO of Funko

Credit: Funko

Hot off the heels of her departure as President of Wizards of the Coast, Cynthia Williams was announced as the new CEO of Funko last Thursday.

According to the press release on the investor relations page, William’s first day on the job will be May 20th, replacing the current interim CEO Michael Lunsford. Williams was selected for this role by the executive recruiting company True Search, and approved by Funko’s Board of Directors.

Regarding her new position, Cynthia Williams says, “Funko has built a portfolio of valuable global brands, and I am energized about this unique opportunity to help Funko fully realize its potential. My extensive experience with the devoted fans of Dungeons & Dragons, Magic: The Gathering, and Xbox will be highly beneficial in developing products that continue to appeal to Funko’s passionate fans, both core fans and collectors. I’m eager to work with the Board, management team and our employees around the world to further strengthen our brands and deliver value to our stockholders.”

Funko is most known for their line of vinyl pop culture-based Pop! dolls whose lifeless stares somehow populate collectors shelves worldwide. In recent years, Funko has branched out into the tabletop gaming and video game space with their Funko Pop! brand.

New Professional Association Created for Tabletop Game Designers

Credit: Tabletop Games Designers Association

On May 6th, the Tabletop Game Designers Association (TTGDA) announced via press release that their website,, had gone live, officially marking the start of the trade association.

Founded by Tabletop industry veterans Elizabeth Hargrave, Geoff Engelstein and Sen-Foong Lim, the TTDGA’s mission is “To promote the craft of tabletop game design through education and support; To advocate for the designers of tabletop games within the industry; and to enhance the profile of the profession through proper attribution and recognition of contributions.”

Game designer Cole Wehrle sums it up well in the release, saying, “The TTGDA helps level the playing field between designers and publishers. Games that are fairly made are better for the designers, the players, and, ultimately, the publishers, too.”

The TTGDA is the first of its kind for game designers in North America, but it is not the first trade association for tabletop industry designers. In Germany, the Game Designers Association, abbreviated from German to SAZ, has been representing industry designers for over 30 years. It has fought for the representation of fair treatment for game designers, including earlier this year when they claimed designers were being shortchanged on royalties by large publishers. 

Square Enix Announces US and EU Layoffs

Credit: Square Enix

If you’re some horrible monster that thought the news about the Microsoft closures wasn’t enough, and you’re hungry for more news about the video game layoff nightmare wave, well I guess I have good news for you. Square Enix announced on Monday in an internal meeting that it would be engaging in layoffs in its EU and NA offices as part of the larger reorganization efforts currently happening at the company.

According to Video Game Chronicle (VGC), who broke the news, these layoffs will be largely focused on the IT, publishing, and indie divisions at these international branches. Those affected by the layoffs will be informed this week via email, though VGC reports that some employees are already locked out of workplace slack accounts following the announcement. 

The news follows Square’s quarterly earnings report, which laid out a three-year business plan for company growth. A major focus of this plan is emphasizing multiplatform AAA releases for Square Enix titles going forward, rather than single console exclusives like Final Fantasy XVI. This change in release strategy, as well as the larger restructuring at the company, is planned to offset the massive drop in profits from 2023, including $141 million in canceled projects that did not fit with Square’s release strategy.      

Bonus: Founding Figure of GameStop Meme Stock Movement Returns, Stock Prices Spike

Credit: Gamestop

Big day for the worst people you know: GameStop stock prices shot up nearly 100% today and trading for SME had to be frozen after the prodigal founder of the movement made a post on social media.

Keith Gill, who’s also known by his YouTube channel name Roaring Kitty and by his groan-worthy Reddit handle Deep Fucking Value, posted a single image on May 12th of that one meme where the guy leans forward in his chair intently. Having been inactive on all corners of the internet for years, his enigmatic return sparked a frenzy that caused the stock of the shambling GameStop to skyrocket. Is this probably a pump and dump scheme? Absolutely. 

If you know people who are still convinced that GameStop stock will make them millionaires overnight, or want a deep dive on the insanity that is the meme stock movement, Dan Olsen’s video on the subject is a much watch that we are happy to plug here at Goonhammer. Seriously, go watch it. Dan Olsen rules. He’s a board certified “Good Dan.”

And that wraps it up for our Games Industry News Roundup this week! Join us again next week for more news about the tabletop games industry and related media.

Have any questions or feedback? Have an interesting tabletop news story we should be including in our round-up? Drop us a note in the comments below or email us at And if you want regular updates in your inbox, subscribe to our newsletter.