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Forums - Microsoft Discussion - Xbox Empire - Starfield Has Surpassed 10 Million Players, Biggest Bethesda Launch of All-Time avoid getting banned for inactivity, I may have to resort to comments that are of a lower overall quality and or beneath my moral standards.

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Development of Redfall began in 2018. At the time, ZeniMax — the large, privately held owner of Bethesda Softworks — was looking to sell itself. Behind the scenes, the company was encouraging its studios to develop games that could generate revenue beyond the initial sales, a popular trend dubbed "games as a service," which was taking off in the late 2010s thanks to lucrative hits like Overwatch and Fortnite.

According to people familiar with the process, ZeniMax was strongly urging developers at its subsidiaries to implement microtransactions — that is, recurring opportunities within games for players to spend real money, say, outfitting their characters. Although this wasn't an absolute mandate, several ZeniMax franchises such as Fallout, Doom and Wolfenstein would soon release new versions incorporating online multiplayer and monetization options.

Developers under Smith and Bare said the two leads were outwardly excited but as the project progressed failed to provide clear direction. Staff members said that, over time, they grew frustrated with management's frequently shifting references to other games, such as Far Cry and Borderlands, that left each department with varying ideas of what exactly they were making. Throughout the development, the fundamental tension between single-player and multiplayer design remained unresolved. Smith and Bare did not respond to requests for comment.

At Arkane's headquarters in Austin, Harvey Smith and Ricardo Bare, respected industry veterans, were tapped to serve as co-directors of Redfall. Following the commercially unsuccessful release of its sci-fi shooter Prey a year earlier, leadership across the company wanted to make something more broadly appealing. What eventually emerged was the idea to make a multiplayer game in which users would team up to battle vampires and perhaps pay for occasional cosmetic upgrades.

Arkane was also perpetually understaffed, said people familiar with its production. The studio's Austin office employed less than 100 people— sufficient for a relatively small, single-player game like Prey but not enough to compete with multiplayer behemoths like Fortnite and Destiny, which are developed by teams of hundreds. Even additional support from ZeniMax's Wisconsin-based Roundhouse Studios and other outsourcing houses couldn't fill the gaps, they say.

Harvey Smith recently said in an interview with the website Eurogamer that "early on" he pushed back against the compulsory inclusion of an in-game store. But people who worked on the game said the remarks didn't square with how things played out. For the first three years, Redfall had a significant microtransaction plan in place. Only in 2021, with "games as a service" growing more controversial among gamers, did Arkane finally scrap its unwieldy in-game monetization plans.

The most discouraging thing there is really the high attrition rate. That they've lost like 70% of the staff the worked on Prey before this. That's sad. Everything else is pretty much exactly what I expected based on how the game launched.

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Last edited by Ryuu96 - on 01 June 2023

Ryuu96 said:

Do want.

Redfall's development went basically how I thought it did. This should be a learning experience for MS to make sure the employees as a whole are working on games they want and are excited about.

Ryuu96 said:

Buying 2

Yea, I think that one really important thing, and I've been on this for a while....MS can't just have this across the board hands off approach. You can't just buy up people left and right, and then say "ok...hope they don't fuck up," while you turn your eyes towards the next prospects. You gotta have a system of checks and balances in place to make sure that these studios are operating efficiently, and not just trust that they will. If certain studios are well oiled machines...great. Fantastic. But even then, you still check to make sure that continues to be the case, and that the team is all pulling in the same direction. Don't WAIT for things to reach some kind of breaking point where it's already too late to resolve the situation with simple/timely measures.