Xbox head reassures Starfield fans after Redfall's disappointing launch

Starfield screenshot
(Image credit: Bethesda)

Xbox boss Phil Spencer has reflected on what went wrong with Redfall, and how it will impact Starfield going forward.

Earlier today on May 4, Spencer appeared on Kinda Funny Games to discuss Redfall, and acknowledged its disappointing reception from fans and critics alike. Spencer spoke about better integrating Starfield's development team into Xbox because it was earlier in development than Redfall when Microsoft acquired parent company Zenimax.

"When we acquire studios, there's games that are in development, and then there's things that are really early in development or not even conceived yet. I think we need to improve on engaging in games that are mid-way through production when they become part of Xbox," Spencer said.

"We didn't do a good job in engaging with Arkane Austin to really help them understand what it meant to be part of Xbox and part of first-party, and use some of our internal resources to help them and move along that journey," the Xbox head continued. 

However, Spencer says "we did a better job with Starfield," adding that while no-one should believe that until they see the results of the game for themselves, Bethesda's RPG was "earlier on in production," making it easier for Xbox to bring people in to assist with the technological aspects of the project.

"We should've been there for Harvey and the team earlier," Spencer said, referring to Redfall and Arkane Austin director Harvey Smith. "I think that's on us. And then through the process it's an Unreal game, and we have a bunch of studios that have done some really great work on Unreal over the years," Spencer continued, adding that Xbox could've done a better job of helping Arkane with Redfall's technical issues.

Clearly there's a lot that Spencer feels he could've, and should've, done differently with Arkane Austin to improve Redfall, but he's also trying to dissuade Xbox players from being put off purchasing Starfield after Redfall's disappointing launch. Starfield is now under more pressure to perform than ever after Redfall's launch, and Spencer is clearly feeling it.

Starfield launches later this year on September 6 for PC and Xbox Series X/S.

Check out our upcoming Xbox Series X games guide for a look ahead at everything launching on the new-gen console over the next year.

Hirun Cryer

Hirun Cryer is a freelance reporter and writer with Gamesradar+ based out of U.K. After earning a degree in American History specializing in journalism, cinema, literature, and history, he stepped into the games writing world, with a focus on shooters, indie games, and RPGs, and has since been the recipient of the MCV 30 Under 30 award for 2021. In his spare time he freelances with other outlets around the industry, practices Japanese, and enjoys contemporary manga and anime.