Big Xbox Shakeup Might Avoid Another Redfall Debacle

A vampire flees a corporate shake-up.
A vampire flees a corporate shake-up.

Today Microsoft announced a re-organization within its Xbox division that will see ZeniMax and Bethesda Game Studios report more directly to head of game services, Matt Booty. The shift comes after vampire shooter Redfall was so poorly recieved that Microsoft Gaming CEO Phil Spencer went on a fan podcast to publicly apologize for the situation.

As reported by The Verge, Microsoft’s latest executive shuffling will see Booty, previously in charge of overseeing Xbox Game Studios, expand his purview to include ZeniMax and Bethesda as the newly appointed president of game content and studios. Meanwhile, former VP Sarah Bond will now be president of Xbox in charge of everything related to the platform including “Devices, Player & Creator Experiences, Platform Engineering, Strategy, Business Planning, Data & Analytics and Business Development.”

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According to a report by Bloomberg shortly after Redfall came out, the game suffered from a lack of clear direction, a lack of resources, and a lack of conviction in the shift to online multiplayer for a studio renowned for its single-player experiences. It’s still unclear how much Microsoft was aware of the situation surrounding the game, and whether more direct intervention might have saved it or simply led to it being canceled altogether. Bloomberg reported that 70 percent of Arkane Austin staff who worked on Prey had left by the time Redfall shipped.

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