Redfall, the upcoming Xbox Series X/S and PC exclusive vampire shooter, was originally also set to launch on PS5, according to the game’s creative director, Harvey Smith. In an interview with IGN France, Smith confirmed that a PS5 version of the game was nixed soon after Bethesda and Arkane parent company, ZeniMax Media, was purchased by Microsoft.
‘We [Arkane] were acquired by Microsoft and it was change with a capital C,’ Smith said. ‘They came in and they said “no PlayStation 5, we’re focusing on Xbox, PC, and the Game Pass … a good decision, I think.’ According to Smith, it meant the team had one less platform to worry about, and reduced complexity in the development process.
On another level, this revelation is an important insight into Microsoft’s business decisions – and may actually have an impact on the ongoing discussion around Microsoft’s proposed deal to acquire Activision Blizzard.
While the company honoured all of its obligations in the release of in-development Bethesda titles – namely, Ghostwire: Tokyo and Deathloop, for which timed console exclusivity windows for PS5 had already been laid out – it seemingly wasted no time in making the next Arkane title an Xbox console exclusive.
The reported cancellation of a PS5 version of Redfall will likely raise questions about future exclusivity, and how Microsoft plans to wield the games library of Activision Blizzard. While it has repeatedly claimed the primary reason for the acquisition is to strengthen the Xbox mobile games offering, this directive suggests alternative motives could be at play.
In the case of Call of Duty, Xbox has offered Nintendo and Sony 10-year deals to bring the franchise to both platforms – however, once these obligations are fulfilled, the story may change. Recent comments from Microsoft suggesting Sony should simply make their own Call of Duty also add fuel to the fire.
Redfall launches for Xbox Series X/S and PC on 2 May 2023. It will not be launching for PS5.