Microsoft’s ongoing attempts to bring Activision Blizzard into the fold as an Xbox-owned company have been dominating headlines for months at this point, but of course, this isn’t the first major publisher that the company is acquiring. Bethesda’s parent company ZeniMax was also acquired by Xbox not too long ago, which meant that a number of studios – including Dishonored and Prey developer Arkane – were added to the growing Xbox Game Studios lineup.
And that, as you might imagine, brought about pretty significant changes for the studios, as revealed by Arkane Studios’ studio director Harvey Smith in a recent interview with IGN France. According to Smith, in fact, Arkane’s upcoming open world shooter, Redfall, was also in development for PS5 for about a year, before Microsoft acquired ZeniMax and told Arkane that the PS5 version’s plans were being dropped.
“We were acquired by Microsoft and it was a change with capital C,” Smith said. “They came in and said ‘No PlayStation 5, we’re focusing on Xbox, PC, and Game Pass.'”
However, according to Smith, that change was a good one, not only because it allowed the developer to focus on developing for fewer consoles, but also because it meant having access to a larger playerbase right at launch, thanks to Game Pass– which, as per Microsoft’s last official update, has over 25 million subscribers.
“It’s not very serious, it’s even a good decision, I think,” Smith said. “[It helps to] support Game Pass and have one less platform to worry about, one less complexity.”
“Game Pass has a ton of players, it could become our biggest game thanks to 30 million, where I can’t remember the exact number, of subscribers,” he added.
Redfall is due out on May 2 for Xbox Series X/S and PC.
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