Report claims Redfall developer Arkane Austin was understaffed and lacked direction

Redfall screenshot

Redfall was considered by Microsoft to be one of its big first-party exclusive games for its Xbox consoles and for the PC before it launched on May 2. Instead, the vampire-themed multiplayer PvE shooter received mediocre, at best, reviews from both game critics and gamers in general. Even Microsoft's Xbox head Phil Spencer admitted in a post-launch interview he was "disappointed" with the game's release.

Now a new report from Bloomberg, using unnamed sources, claims that the development of Redfall at the Arkane Austin studio was troubled from start to finish. The studio's last game, before Microsoft's acquired its parent company ZeniMax Studios in 2021, was the critically acclaimed sci-fi single-player first-person shooter Prey. However, it wasn't a commercial success so the team came up with the multiplayer-themed Redfall to target a larger audience.

However, the article claims that after the game got started in 2018, the direction of its development became unclear. It stated:

Staff members said that, over time, they grew frustrated with management’s frequently shifting references to other games, such as Far Cry and Borderlands, that left each department with varying ideas of what exactly they were making. Throughout the development, the fundamental tension between single-player and multiplayer design remained unresolved.

Arkane Austin also had issues with team members leaving and also encountered problems bringing in people to replace them. The studio reportedly had less than 100 team members, which is not that huge considering the type of multiplayer game that Redfall was aiming to provide to gamers.

In the end, Redfall didn't come together, despite delays in its release date. It remains to be seen how the game will fare in the future, even if Arkane Austin continues to try to improve it and add content.

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