According to recent reports, Microsoft was aware that Redfall was "going to be a disaster" but did not interfere with how the studio was managing the game.
Redfall's peak concurrent player count on Steam only reached 6,124 users, marking one of the lowest results for any of Arkane Studios' games.
Generally, Arkane games do not have a high peak concurrent player count. However, Redfall's performance in this regard is notably poorer than that of the studio's other titles. For comparison, Deathloop's peak of concurrent players is 20,094, Prey's is 24,594, and Dishonored 2's is 22,411.
It's possible that Redfall's low concurrent player count peak is partly due to the fact that the game is also available on Game Pass, but this cannot be verified.
Critics and players were not impressed with Redfall when it launched on May 2, as reflected in its reviews. As of now, the game has received only 31% positive reviews out of 1,154 on Steam.
Additionally, the game's scores on Metacritic are lackluster, with only 62 points out of 100 based on 44 critic reviews for the Xbox version and 58 points out of 100 based on 31 reviews for the PC version. These scores make Redfall the lowest-rated game by Arkane Studios on the platform in the studio's almost 25-year history.
Redfall is facing criticism on multiple fronts. In addition to technical issues, the game has been criticized by players and critics for its underwhelming gameplay, failing to showcase the trademark qualities that Arkane Studios is known for.
Recent reports, however, suggest that the failure of Redfall and its disappointment for Xbox fans was a foreseeable outcome.
In a recent Game Mess podcast, industry insider Jeff Grubb shared that claimed that he received information from a source at Xbox indicating that Redfall was "going to be a disaster". According to the source, Xbox did not have faith in the game and did not endorse it.
Jez Corden from Windows Central further revealed that Microsoft and Xbox had no role in the decision to delay Redfall, as it was Arkane Studios and Bethesda who made that call. Despite indications that the game was falling short of expectations, Microsoft did not intervene in Bethesda's handling of the game.
It's possible that Redfall was already struggling in development when Microsoft acquired ZeniMax, which could explain the company's lack of confidence in the game. This may have resulted in Redfall being released without further polishing.
Following Redfall's poor launch, fans are expressing concern about the state of Starfield, given previous reports from January that suggested both games were facing development challenges. According to Jeff Grubb, if Starfield manages to perform well at launch, it could help compensate for the criticism surrounding Redfall.