Starfield and Redfall are easily among the biggest games scheduled to release in 2023, but of course, if things had gone to plan for Microsoft, both games would have been out by now. Redfall was originally set for Summer 2022, while Starfield was due out in November, but earlier this year, it was announced that both games had been delayed to 2023.
Both, of course, are major new AAA releases that would not only have raked in the plaudits and the sales, but would also have been huge boosts for Microsoft as the company continues pushing hardware sales and Game Pass subscriptions. But even though the 2022 release calendar has ended up looking pretty light where first party Xbox releases are concerned, it doesn’t seem like Microsoft has any regrets over delaying two major blockbuster releases into 2023.
Speaking recently with The Verge, Xbox boss Phil Spencer reiterated that delayed Starfield and Redfall was the right thing to do, expressing that given how much time and resources had been invested into making both games the best they could be, it made no sense to rush them through the gate. Spencer also pointed out that given Microsoft’s own past experience with rushed releases, he was keen to avoid making similar mistakes.
“I think positioning it as a decision might be slightly wrong, at least for me. It isn’t really a decision to move a game after spending the team’s effort over multiple years just to get to a point where you know you’re not going to deliver the game you want on the date that was promised,” he said. “Now, it is at some level, because I have shipped games too early. We have experienced shipping games too early.
“In hindsight, when you look at a game like Starfield, it’s taken so long and so much investment in new IP from the team. The decision to give the team the time to build the game that they feel they should be building is just the right thing to do. There are financial implications to those decisions. Weighing what is going to happen, whether it’s platform growth, subscriber growth, or frankly, the revenue that you generate when a new game launches, those are business decisions. You definitely have to weigh the outcome of those decisions.
“For any game, but definitely for our games Starfield and Redfall — which are our first big Xbox games with ZeniMax coming into the team — I just wanted to make sure those teams felt they had all the support they could get from Xbox, and to maybe feel some of the benefit of being part of a larger organization that has other revenue streams and other helpful things going on. In the end, I believe the quality of the games will be better and customers will find the experience to be more interesting, which will hopefully feel like the right decision in hindsight.”
Of course, both Starfield and Redfall are shaping up to be massive in scope, so rushing them to completion would obviously have been unwise, to say the very least. Bethesda has said that Starfield is much bigger than its previous Fallout and The Elder Scrolls titles, while Redfall is, of course, Arkane’s first crack at an open world game.
Starfield and Redfall are both scheduled to launch in the first half of 2023 for Xbox Series X/S and PC.