Head of Xbox Phil Spencer is "disappointed" about Redfall's launch, but it hasn't shaken his belief that developers should have the option to work on projects outside their creative zone.
Redfall released this week to mixed critical response and underwhelming concurrent player numbers on Steam. The first-person shooter sees Arkane Austin moving away from its immersive sim roots and into co-op-based, looter-shooter territory.
This gamble has, however, not paid off, marking yet another misstep for Xbox as it continues to struggle with delivering a consistent stream of console exclusives.
"There's nothing that's more difficult for me than disappointing the Xbox Community," Phil Spencer said when asked about his thoughts on Redfall's launch during the Kinda Funny XCast.
The Head of Xbox went on to say that he, too, was "disappointed" and upset with himself for failing to deliver a great game in the hands of fans.
He admitted to a need to "revisit our process," referring to Redfall only launching with a 30 FPS quality mode on Xbox consoles, when the company had originally advertised a 60 FPS mode.
"There's clearly quality and execution things that we can do. But one thing I won't do is push against the creative aspirations of our teams."
Spencer doesn't believe in forcing studios to only work on the types of games that helped build their reputation. Arkane Austin previously developed Prey, an intricate single-player immersive sim, which is what the studio as a whole is known for.
"Maybe that means I'll underdeliver for some of our fans out there, but when a team like Rare wants to do Sea of Thieves, when a team like Obsidian wants to do Grounded, when Tango wants to go do Hi-Fi when everybody probably thought they were doing Evil Within 3, I want to give the teams the creative platform to go, push their ability, and push their aspirations.
"But I also need to have a great selection of games that continue to come, that surprise and delight our fans, and we underdelivered on that, and for that, I apologize. It's not what I expect, it's not what I want."
When asked about whether or not work on Redfall will continue, hopefully turning it into a redemption story à la No Man's Sky, Spencer confirmed that "the team at Arkane is taking the near-term feedback, we're still working on the 60 FPS, we have a good timeline for that, we're committed to getting that done, and we're gonna continue to work the game."
Time will tell whether or not post-launch updates will manage to address Redfall's most glaring issues and breathe new life into Arkane Austin's defanged shooter.
Xbox has another major exclusive scheduled to launch this year, in the shape of Starfield, and there's a lot riding on Bethesda's upcoming sci-fi RPG.
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