Redfall devs reportedly didn’t actually want to make the game
Redfall developers at Arkane Austin weren’t excited about the development of the game a new report claims, with many leaving the studio during production.
Redfall’s troubles have been well-documented since its release in early May. The game, developed by the beloved Arkane Studios, fell short of expectations and remains one of the worst-reviewed titles of the year. In our own review, we stated: “It’s impossible to say if this is the case, but Redfall ‘feels’ like a game that has succumbed to too much compromise.”
As it turns out, that appears to be true. In an extensive report by Bloomberg’s Jason Schreier, it’s alleged that Redfall had an identity crisis throughout its development, on top of a revolving door of developers.
Blood from a stone
It appears trouble brewed when Zenimax, the developer’s parent company, began looking to sell and thus was looking to produce service titles with microtransactions for perpetual cash flow (which subsequently would never even come to the game).
Since Arkane is known for its single-player titles, this became an issue. While the studio started work on “a multiplayer Arkane game”, many of the staff didn’t know what that looked like. Bloomberg reports: “Veteran workers who weren’t interested in developing a multiplayer game left in droves. By the end of Redfall’s development, roughly 70% of the Austin staff who had worked on Prey [Arkane’s previous game] would no longer be at the company.”
This became a bigger issue, as when looking to replace talent, most applicants were from a single-player background, and not the multiplayer experts they needed. Between lower salaries, some unwilling to work in Texas, and as “the studio couldn’t describe its details to prospective employees”, the game never got the team it needed.
There had been some hope when Microsoft purchased ZeniMax for $7.5 billion back in 2020 that things would change. The report claims some hoped the game would be canceled or even rebooted into a single-player title. However, that never materialized as Microsoft instead took a hands-off role in production.
This is all a shame as Arkane is capable of greatness. However, it seems the game failed via upper management decisions, as well as a violent shift from the single-player worlds the developer is known for, into a mandated multiplayer ecosystem.