Redfall | Arkane Austin lost 70 percent of staff during development

redfall arkane

According to a new Bloomberg report, a huge number of people left developer Arkane Austin during the development of the dismally-received Redfall. 


A new report by the always-excellent Jason Schreier over at Bloomberg digs into exactly what went wrong behind the scenes on Arkane Austin’s disappointingly limp vampire shooter, Redfall.

We won’t rake over the whole thing here – you can read the full piece, sans Bloomberg’s usual paywall, via this link at present. But one snippet work pulling out is the revelation that, as development neared its end on Redfall, some 70 percent of Arkane Austin’s developers – who’d previously worked on the acclaimed Prey  – had left the studio.

One of the fundamental problems, per the report, is that few at Arkane wanted to actually make Redfall; the project arose in the fallout from Prey, which was critically acclaimed but failed to sell as expected. Faced with demands for a more lucrative multiplayer game, Arkane began work on Redfall – seemingly, without much appetite to give it the same level of love and polish that lit up the studio’s previous titles.

Redfall isn’t entirely without its good points; the weapons feel satisfyingly meaty, and the premise – a kind of multiplayer take on Richard Matheson’s I Am Legend, as we wrote a few weeks ago – hinted at a greater potential that was sadly hampered by bugs, janky non-player AI, and the general fog of a game that didn’t quite feel finished.

Less than a month after the roundly gloomy reviews, Redfall exited Xbox’s list of the top 50 most-played games. For what was once one of 2023’s big releases, it’s a particularly sorry state of affairs. The game’s reception was such that even Xbox boss Phil Spencer came forward to publicly admit that he was “disappointed” with the game’s launch in an early May podcast.

It remains to be seen where Arkane Austin – formerly one of the industry’s most respected studios – goes from here. Here’s hoping the team can bounce back with something great.

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