redfall ps5 xbox exclusive arkane

(Update) Redfall was in development for PS5 before Microsoft/ZeniMax purchase

Microsoft purchase ‘changed platform plans’

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[Update: Microsoft has responded to the reports that it canned a PS5 edition of Redfall in comments to Eurogamer.

“We haven’t pulled any games from PlayStation,” said an MS spokesperson. “In fact, we’ve expanded our footprint of games that we’ve shipped on Sony’s PlayStation since our acquisition of ZeniMax, and the first two games we shipped after closing were PlayStation 5 exclusives. We did the same thing since our closing of Minecraft as we extended the reach of that franchise.

“All of the games that were available on PlayStation when we acquired ZeniMax in March 2021 are still available on PlayStation, and we have continued to do content updates on PlayStation and PC. We have always said that future decisions on whether to distribute ZeniMax games for other consoles will be made on a case-by-case basis.”]

Original Article:

Developer Arkane Austin has confirmed that its incoming monster-masher Redfall was initially planned as a multi-platform title, but was asked to drop the PS5 edition once Microsoft acquired the studio in the ZeniMax Media purchase — which took place back in the summer of 2020.

The somewhat unsurprising revelation was made by studio director Harvey Smith in an interview with IGN France. Smith describes the Microsoft purchase as “Change with a capital C”, noting any plans for a Playstation edition of the vampire-hunting multiplayer title were instantly scrapped by the new owners. “They came in and they said ‘No PlayStation 5. We’re focusing on Xbox, PC, and Game Pass.”

Smith notes that he thinks it was a good idea, with the dropping of Redfall on PS5 allowing the studio to focus on one less platform and add further polish to the project. Smith also points to Xbox Game Pass’ 30 million subscribers as a solid install base for the multiplayer-focused shooter, which will hopefully provide Redfall with a ready-made community of players. A Monster Squad, of sorts.

It should be noted that Microsoft is currently bitterly embroiled in legal battles over its proposed purchase of Activision Blizzard, the main concern by opponents being the possibility that Microsoft might make some of Activision’s biggest franchises — such as Call of Duty — Xbox exclusive brands. Microsoft has denied any intent of this motion, though publishers such as PlayStation will no doubt use this Redfall revelation as an example of what “could happen”, strong evidence to present to any judges unaware of the realities of the industry.

Redfall launches May 2 on Xbox Series X, PC, and Xbox Game Pass.

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Chris Moyse
Senior Editor - Chris has been playing video games since the 1980s and writing about them since the 1880s. Graduated from Galaxy High with honors. Twitter: @ChrisxMoyse