Microsoft is doing some damage control as a recent comment came out this week from the director behind Arkane Studios’ Redfall title, Harvey Smith. If you caught the news that came out recently, it was said that Redfall was initially developed for PlayStation 5. This was a game project that entered production a year prior to the acquisition of ZeniMax Media. From there, Harvey Smith noted that once Microsoft acquired Arkane Studios, they told them to focus on Xbox and PC. That forced the studio to drop the development of Redfall on PlayStation 5.
But now it seems that this wasn’t the case at all. If Microsoft is to be believed, they have come in with a statement to GameSpot. During their conversation, a spokesperson stated that they never told the studio to pull any games from PlayStation. Instead, they have only expanded their footprint on where they shipped games. The spokesperson even pointed back to two previous releases that came first to PlayStation 5 before they reached Xbox platforms. Those being Arkane Studios Deathloop along with Tango Gameworks Ghostwire: Tokyo.
Then there is Minecraft, a game that continues to see support on competitor platforms. So, for now, it looks like Harvey Smith might have misspoken and got the facts wrong. Likewise, this is a quick cleanup for Microsoft as they are still working incredibly hard to acquire another big company. I’m sure you are all well aware of Microsoft’s attempt to acquire Activision Blizzard. With this deal comes the behemoth of a franchise, which is Call of Duty.
With so much focus on the future of Call of Duty, Microsoft has been striving to ensure regulators that this game IP will continue to land on competitor platforms for at least a decade. Contracts are written up, making them legally binding. But the fear from Sony is that this game franchise will quickly get pulled away from the PlayStation line of console platforms. So having a story like Microsoft telling Redfall developers to stop developing for the PlayStation 5 platform doesn’t shine a very pretty picture. So now, a quick reaction from Microsoft on this topic was likely something they wanted to get out into the public’s attention. It would be interesting to see if there is any evidence that comes up from Harvey Smith to further show that Microsoft did, in fact, alert the studio to no longer focus on the PlayStation 5 platform.