AFTER purchasing Bethesda in 2021, Xbox announced that upcoming vampire shooter Redfall would be Microsoft exclusive.
Before the acquisition, it was scheduled to release on Xbox Series X|S, PlayStation 5 and PC.
Redfall features 4-player co-op.
The PlayStation port was already in development by the time Xbox decided to make Redfall exclusive.
Scraping a port in the middle of development would be a disappointment for any studio, not to mention a loss of profits.
GLHF spoke to Redfall’s game director Harvery Smith about what the exclusivity meant for the team.
He said: “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’.
“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?
“How does that factor into your profitability? How do you figure that out?”
There were upsides to the switch to Microsoft exclusivity, including Redfall being added to Xbox Game Pass.
Smith said: “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.”
However, Microsoft has recently revealed that adding a game to Game Pass often leads to a reduction in sales.
This reduction will usually last for the first 12 months after a game is added to the service.
He continues: “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.”
Written by Kirk McKeand and Georgina Young on behalf of GLHF.