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Xbox's newest exclusive was such a mess even the developers hoped Microsoft would cancel it

Xbox's newest exclusive was such a mess even the developers hoped Microsoft would cancel it

Redfall was such a mess that even developers at Arkane Austin were hoping that Microsoft would cancel it.

It’s no secret that Redfall had an abysmal launch, although The Lord of the Rings: Gollum has since given it a run for its money. It’s a shame because back when Redfall was announced, I think quite a few of us were interested in the concept. In the end though, the game was released in a near unplayable state. In fact, developers knew that Redfall was such a mess that they’d hoped that Microsoft would cancel it before launch.

It’s not at all what we’d expect from Arkane Austin, the creators of Dishonored. When reviews first broke, critics called Redfall “shockingly poor”. Over on Metacritic, the game has a score of just 56. Unfortunately, this isn’t one of those cases where the game ended up being a hit with fans anyway. The user score tells a much more grim story, sitting at just 3.4. A quick trip over to SteamDB will give you an idea of the low player base. A month after release, Redfall has a Steam 24-hour peak of 139 players. Yikes. Now, we’re beginning to find out what took place behind the scenes during development.

Starfield will hopefully be a much-needed morale boost for Xbox. It’s looking great so far.

As reported by Bloomberg (via IGN), staff at Arkane Austin blamed the game’s poor performance on staffing issues and misguided vision. Staff allegedly hoped that the game would be scrapped completely, or rebooted as a single-player game. This makes sense seeing as Prey and Dishonored (two Arkane Austin titles) were both single-player. Devs were seemingly unhappy that parent company ZeniMax were pushing for a multiplayer experience.

According to Bloomberg, 70% of Redfall’s development team left for this reason, leaving the team severely understaffed. Replacing staff also ended up being a major issue. Applicants reportedly also had an interest in working on single-player titles. It’s believed that Redfall had less than 100 people working on it in the end. Sources also told Bloomberg that leaders would often switch direction.

One day, devs would be told to make the game like Borderlands. The next, they were told the inspiration was Far Cry. All in all, Redfall is a chapter I’m sure Xbox will be happy to sweep under the rug. The Xbox Showcase is mere days away on 11 June. Hopefully, that’ll bring some joyful news for us to get hyped about.

Featured Image Credit: Bethesda Softworks, Microsoft

Topics: Xbox, PC