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Phil Spencer is a “huge supporter” of Arkane despite Redfall reception

Amid a divisive reception to Arkane Austin's Redfall, Xbox Game Studios CEO Phil Spencer speaks out about the game's reception and path to improving Redfall.

Redfall Slayer on Xbox

Action shooter Redfall is now live for Xbox owners to jump into via Xbox Game Pass, though the Arkane Austin title is already under fire for a myriad of issues. FPS fans are divided over Redfall’s launch state, citing uninspired gameplay and performance issues as major roadblocks to unlocking the game’s potential. Amid the increase of those concerns, Xbox Game Studios CEO Phil Spencer gives his perspective on the situation surrounding Redfall‘s release.

Appearing on the Kinda Funny Games Xcast, the Xbox figurehead explains that “I’ll just say […] there’s nothing that’s more difficult for me than disappointing the Xbox community. I’ve been a part of it for a long time […] just to kinda watch the community lose confidence and be disappointed – I’m disappointed. I’m upset with myself.”

“Seeing the game come out and [the] critical response is not what we wanted,” Spencer adds. “It’s disappointing […] what can we learn? How can we get better?” Despite the game’s current state of affairs, Spencer affirms he is “not a believer” in shifting a negative perspective onto Dishonoured developer Arkane Austin.

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“One thing I’ll fight is what went wrong – there’s clearly quality and execution things that we can do, but one thing I won’t do is push against creative aspirations of our teams […] maybe that means I’ll underdeliver to some of our fans out there […] I want to give the teams the creative platform to go and push their ability, push their aspirations.”

However, the Xbox Game Studios CEO attests “I also need to have a great selection of games that continue to come – that surprise and delight our fans.” Despite discussion revolving around another delay for the Redfall release date, Spencer shares that “it isn’t a delay question” when it comes to realising the “creative vision” of the game. “I don’t look at the review scores on Redfall […] but I think there is a fundamental piece of feedback that we get, [and it’s that] the game isn’t realising the creative vision it had for its players.”

“When a game needs to be delayed – like we did with Halo [Infinite], we did with Starfield, we did with Redfall – it’s because the production timeline is saying ‘we have this vision’ and our production timelines don’t get us to the completion of that vision, [so] we do delay them,” Spencer adds on the notion of changing release dates.

While it’s fairly clear that Redfall will end up absolutely nowhere near our list of the best Xbox Series X games, Spencer say he has been surprised by how low the review scores from critics have been for the game. Currently, on Metacritic, the Xbox Series X version of Redfall is sitting at a score of 62, which came in well under Xbox’s internal expectations.

“We do mock reviews for every game that we launch, and this is like double digits lower than we thought we’d be with this game from our mock reviews,” Spencer says. “We would never strive to launch a game that would review in the low 60s, it’s not part of our goals.” While The Loadout’s Redfall review in progress is yet to be scored, we have also been underwhelmed by the game.

Despite the game’s reception, Spencer remains a “huge supporter of Arkane Austin” and adds that “their track record is awesome. I love a lot of the games that they’ve built. This is one where the team didn’t hit their own internal goals when it launched.”

Redfall will go down as a blot on the record of both Arkane and Xbox, and those on the green console will hope that their first-party fortunes improve when the Starfield release date arrives later this year.