Following the shocking launch of Redfall, the majority of the discourse found in social media circles suggests that Starfield could be a ‘make or break title’ for Xbox. It’s certainly true that there’s a monumental amount of pressure on Bethesda Game Studios and Xbox to deliver with Starfield, but if it fails, is Xbox really doomed as a platform?
There are rampant concerns that Starfield may suffer the same fate as Redfall, but arguably, gamers will be much more critical of the space-faring title if it does launch in a poor state. This is Bethesda Game Studios’ biggest game ever and it has been on the cards for more than five years.
Fortunately, Phil Spencer has explained that much more assistance has been given to Bethesda in the creation of Starfield than was given to Arkane in the construction of Redfall.
‘We Didn’t Do A Good Job’
In an all-new episode of a Kinda Funny podcast, Phil Spencer took centre-stage to talk about (and essentially apologise for) the overwhelming disappointment of Redfall, which was released May 2nd to a seriously negative reception.
He explained that when Microsoft acquired ZeniMax (and by association, Arkane’s studios) Redfall was too far in development for Xbox to have much of an impact on the game’s creation. This presented an immediate issue that was overlooked until now:
When we acquire studios, there are games that are in development, and then there’s things that are either really early in development or not even conceived yet. I think we need to improve in engaging with games that are mid-way through production when they become part of Xbox.
In his own words, Spencer explains that Xbox ‘didn’t do a good job early on in engaging Arkane Austin,’ and that ultimately, they were ‘left to work on the game’ by themselves. Was this a major contributor to Arkane falling short with Redfall? It was also claimed that Xbox’s internal review mock-ups failed to detect how much of a disappointment Redfall’s launch would be.
Starfield, on the other hand, has had lashings of attention ladled upon it by Xbox and Microsoft. It was confirmed by Spencer that Starfield was looked at much earlier in the development cycle, and as a result, the development of the game has been handled more efficiently and transparently.
Does that mean that Starfield will be immune to suffering the same fate as Redfall?
Redfall is a relatively short-lived, open-world, vampire-slaying action title, while Starfield is poised to be a near-endless space exploration epic. It could be considered unfair to compare the two, but at the end of the day, a failed game is a failed game.
People looked down upon Cyberpunk 2077 in the same fashion as they did with No Man’s Sky, both of which performed miserably at launch – but ultimately turned their fortunes around. That was a city-based, open-world RPG vs. a literally infinite space-faring adventure, so the comparison there is somewhat sound.
There was bad press surrounding Redfall in the weeks leading up to the title’s launch, and at present, Starfield has only gone from strength to strength in terms of what’s been marketed thus far. On June 11th, we’ll get another exclusive look at the game and see what’s to come when it launches in full on September 6th.
Is it make or break time for Xbox? Will Starfield be the straw that broke the camel’s back if it ultimately fails upon delivery?
Let us know what you think in the comments below.
For more Insider Gaming news, check out our coverage of ARK 2’s release date, which sits far in the future.