Skip to main content

Arkane Austin’s next game after Prey was revealed during the Xbox and Bethesda showcase in 2021, not long after Microsoft announced its acquisition of Bethesda.

Of course, the game had been in development for years prior to that, with a PlayStation 5 version planned at some point in development.

During a recent Redfall hands-on event, we got the chance to speak to game director Harvey Smith about what those changes meant to the team.

“When you greenlight a project, you're like, ‘Here's how much it will cost, and if we sell this many copies on this platform and this platform, we can make our money back and a big profit’,” Smith explained. “That's the traditional model. As soon as you have something like Game Pass, you don't know how many copies you're going to sell.

“If you get acquired by Microsoft and you're making the game for Xbox, PC, and Game Pass? Well, maybe there's not gonna be a PlayStation 5 version. How does that factor into your profitability? How do you figure that out?

“On one hand, the upside is you get many, many more eyeballs, and many more players potentially. A lot of people will play your game because they're already subscribing to Game Pass. And it's a massive value. So they can just get Redfall and install it and play it. And that's awesome. The more people play our games and love them, the better for us at some level.

“But how do we know how much money it made, or whether it's successful? Because there's a greenlight cost. There's an actual production cost. And this is a more fungible thing, subscriptions. So at some point in the middle of the project, PlayStation 5’s projected revenue went away.”

Xbox has recently been making headlines because of its attempted acquisition of Activision Blizzard, the publishers behind World of Warcraft and Call of Duty. PlayStation has so far done everything it can to block the deal, while Microsoft argues that it has offered ten years of multiplatform guarantee for the Call of Duty series.

Redfall and Bethesda’s upcoming Starfield do prove, however, that Xbox is willing to play the exclusivity game when it suits, but on the other hand, Sony also paid to have Arkane Lyon’s last game, Deathloop, as a timed PS5 exclusive. Both sides are playing the game, and developers seem to be caught in the middle.