Head of Xbox, Phil Spencer, has addressed the significant negative response to Redfall, the co-op vampire slaying FPS that recently launched to a large number of negative reviews and player disappointment.

Talking to the Kinda Funny Xcast, Spencer said that he is “upset with myself” and that he’s “gonna take full responsibility for launching a game that needs to be great.” While he acknowledged the disappointment that comes from a $70 game arriving in the condition Redfall has, he also offered support for the game’s developers, Arkane Austin, noting that he will not “push against the creative aspirations of our teams.”

When asked for his initial response to the launch of Redfall, which dropped as an Xbox console exclusive this week, Spencer said “There’s nothing that’s more difficult for me than disappointing the Xbox community, and just kind of watch the community lose confidence [and] be disappointed.

“I’m disappointed, I’m upset with myself. I kind of revisit our process. I think back to the announcement of 60 frames-per-second, then we weren’t shipping 60 frames-per-second, that was our punch in the chin – rightfully – a couple of weeks ago.”

While Spencer admitted that “the critical response was not what we wanted”, he maintained a somewhat defensive attitude for his team at Xbox Game Studios. “One thing I’ll fight is [the idea of] what went wrong,” he said. “There’s clearly quality and execution things we can do, but one thing I won’t do is push against [the] creative aspirations of our teams.”

“I’m a huge supporter of Arkane Austin,” he said. “Their track record is awesome, I love a lot of the great games they’ve built […] This is one where the team didn’t hit their own internal goals when it launched. I think it’s maybe a little simplistic to just say ‘Hey if you would have just delayed it three months the core creative of the game would have delivered on something that was different to what it was.’”

As for Redfall’s future, Spencer said that Xbox, Bethesda, and Arkane Austin intend to continue working on improving the game, starting with the promised 60FPS patch. “The team at Arkane is taking the near-term feedback, we’re still working on the 60FPS, we have a good timeline for that, we’re committed to getting that done,” said Spencer. “And we’re gonna continue to work the game. We’ve shown a commitment to games like Sea of Thieves and Grounded to continue and go and build games.

“But I also know these games are $70, and I’m gonna take full responsibility for launching a game that needs to be great,” he conceded.

Redfall launched earlier this week to a largely negative critical and player response, with the IGN review among the most critical with a score of 4/10. It’s a notable step down for the Austin-based studio, which co-developed the beloved Dishonored series and delivered the acclaimed Prey and Prey Mooncrash before starting work on Redfall. Arkane has notably been a single player-focused company, and Redfall marks not just the studio’s first step into co-op multiplayer, but also the first significant critical miss.

Matt Purslow is IGN’s UK News and Features Editor.

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Author: Matt Purslow