Xbox Head Disappointed With Redfall Reviews, Will Change Development Process

The critical reception to Redfall has prompted a response from Xbox head Phil Spencer.

Redfall boss fight with the Hollow Man.

Image via Arkane Studios

Xbox Game Studios CEO Phil Spencer has talked publically about the disappointing response to Redfall and dropped an intriguing hint about the internal process within the company changing in the future. This is due to Redfall being savaged by fans and critics alike, thanks to the numerous problems it shipped with.

Redfall has been criticized for its bugs and technical flaws, with fans comparing it to titles like Cyberpunk 2077 at launch. This wouldn’t necessarily condemn a game completely, as the recent Star Wars Jedi: Survivor was also rife with issues on PC, yet it’s clear that there is still a great game buried under those flaws. Redfall is not so blessed, as even a perfectly polished experience can’t hide its subpar gameplay loop and story.

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Xbox Head Phil Spencer’s Response To Redfall’s Negative Reception

It’s not been a great week for the Xbox brand, as the Redfall situation followed the CMA blocking Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard. Phil Spencer appeared on the Kinda Funny Xcast show, discussing everything happening over the past week. When asked about Redfall, Spencer apologized to the fanbase for disappointing the community and mentioned revisiting their process.

Redfall was developed by Arkane Austin, owned by ZeniMax Media, which itself was purchased by Microsoft and added to Xbox Game Studios. This creates a chain of command that has led to a lot of finger-pointing within the fanbase when assigning blame for Redfall’s issues. Spencer confirmed that he was upset about everything that happened with the game and discussed how a delay wouldn’t necessarily have fixed its issues.

Spencer’s comment about revisiting the process could mean a lot of things. The most likely answer is that Xbox Game Studios will have a more hands-on role in the development of future titles, or at least it will during the final production stage. There’s no denying that Microsoft has given its studios a lot of leeway when it comes to the kinds of games they want to make, such as Hi-Fi Rush being made by Tango Gameworks, a studio best known for its horror titles. A more hands-on role hopefully won’t stop the teams from being able to experiment with different genres, which was the situation with Redfall.

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Redfall was hyped as a big Xbox console exclusive at a time when the brand really needs a hit, considering how few standout titles the Xbox Series X/S have received since launch. Spencer’s words suggest that Microsoft will be more hands-on with the studios under Xbox Game Studios, hopefully resulting in more polished titles. Spencer certainly seems to believe that’s the case with Starfield, saying that the team was able to get in during an earlier stage of development to help shepherd the project forward. Of course, knowing Bethesda’s history with buggy launches, we wouldn’t be surprised if it also comes out of the gate with issues.