The Big Xbox Shakeup Could Avoid Another Redfall Debacle

Today Microsoft announced a reorganization within its Xbox division that will see ZeniMax and Bethesda Game Studios report directly to the head of game services, Matt Booty. The transfer comes later vampire shooter Redfall poorly received that Microsoft Gaming CEO Phil Spencer went on a fan podcast to publicly apologize for the situation.

as reported by The Verge, Microsoft’s latest executive shuffling will see Booty, who previously ran Xbox Game Studios, expand his scope to include ZeniMax and Bethesda as the newly appointed president of game content and studios. Meanwhile, former VP Sarah Bond will now be president of Xbox overseeing everything related to the platform including “Devices, Player & Creator Experiences, Platform Engineering, Strategy, Business Planning, Data & Analytics and Business Development .”

“ZeniMax will continue to operate as a limited integration entity led by Jamie Leder, President and CEO, who reports to Matt,” Spencer wrote in a memo to staff today, but the closer that collaboration appears to be designed to avoid another disaster such as Redfall. The announcement comes a week after Bethesda chief marketing officer Pete Hines announced that he was retiring from the company after 24 years.

Arkane Austin’s multiplayer shooter combines elements of Stephen King horror, immersive sims like humiliatedand theft mechanics from Borderlands into an interesting but ultimately messy mix that feels unpolished, incomplete, and hollow. A promised 60fps mode for the console version, along with a patch with other fixes and improvements, did not arrive up to six months after release.

Spencer apologized to disappointed fans, but defended the decision not to delay it and said internal mock review scores pointed to a better reception than it ultimately got. “I feel a sense of responsibility that we can do a better job with Arkane,” Booty said. Axios in an interview in June. “It was a miss, but how much of a miss?” he was sad at the time, and added, “I want to support them to continue working to deliver the game they envisioned.”

According to the report of Bloomberg shortly after Redfall came out, the game suffered from a lack of clear direction, a lack of resources, and a lack of conviction to move to online multiplayer for a studio famous for its single-player experiences. It’s still unclear how much Microsoft knows about the situation surrounding the game, and whether more direct intervention could have saved it or simply canceled it. Bloomberg reported which is 70 percent of Arkane Austin’s working staff prey has left time Redfall sent.

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