Many people have been upset with Redfall, but probably no one has been more unhappy than Xbox CEO Phil Spencer. During an interview on Kinda Funny Games’ Xcast this morning, the executive discussed Redfall’s launch issues.
“There’s nothing more difficult for me than disappointing the Xbox community,” Spencer says when questioned about the game’s dismal response. “…just to watch the community lose confidence and be disappointed, I’m disappointed and upset with myself…”
Spencer goes on to discuss the criticism of Redfall’s 30 FPS launch and how it contradicts Microsoft’s original promise that first-party Xbox Series X/S titles always run at 60 FPS. “That was kind of our punch in the chin, rightfully, a couple of weeks ago,” he explains, before reassuring Arkane that the previously stated 60 FPS performance mode is still on track.
In terms of how Redfall came to be in the first place, Spencer says, “There’s clearly quality and execution things that we could do, but one thing I won’t do is push against creative aspirations of our teams.”Hey, you’ve got teams, teams know how to do one sort of game, just push them to go do the one kind of game that they kind of have a proven track record for,’ a lot of people would say, and I’m just not a believer in that.” He then mentions firms like Rare, Obsidian, and Tango Gameworks being able to experiment with titles like Sea of Thieves, Grounded, and Hi-Fi Rush.
“I want to give the teams a creative platform to go and push their ability and aspirations, but I also need to have a great selection of games that continue to surprise and delight our fans.” And we fell short on that, for which I regret. It’s not what I expected or desired. But it is our responsibility to provide.”
Redfall has been chastised for poor design choices and technological flaws, causing Kinda Funny to wonder how Microsoft determines whether to postpone a project. Spencer adds that a delay occurs when a studio’s development timetable does not allow for the completion of a game’s vision by a deadline. However, as appears to be the case with Redfall, if a team achieves a creative idea but then fails to resonate with gamers, a delay isn’t always the solution.
“…I believe there is a basic piece of feedback that the game is not achieving the creative goal that it had for its users. That doesn’t strike me as a ‘Hey, just delay it.’ That feels like the game had the aim to achieve something, and when players play, they’re simply not experiencing it. They’re not impressed with the team’s innovative execution.”
Spencer reiterates his support for Arkane Austin, saying that the team just did not meet their internal goals in the instance of Redfall.
Watch Kinda Funny’s complete 40-minute interview to hear Spencer address the upcoming Microsoft/Activision purchase. We’re currently assessing Redfall, but you can get our current opinions on the game by reading our review-in-progress here.