Developer Arkane was working on a PS5 version of co-op game Redfall, but it was abruptly scrapped after parent company Bethesda was acquired by Microsoft. Harvey Smith, creative director of the game, reports this in an interview with IGN France.
Smith tells IGN France that the PS5 version of Redfall was discontinued right after Microsoft’s acquisition of Bethesda. “We were bought by Microsoft and it was a capital V change. They came in and said ‘No PlayStation 5, we’re focusing on Xbox, PC and Game Pass’.” The creative director ultimately calls the focus on Xbox and PC a ‘good decision’. “It helps to support Game Pass and we have one less platform to worry about.” Smith doesn’t report how far the PS5 version was in development before it was scrapped.
Redfall will be released in May, exclusively for the PC and Xbox Series X and S. Arkane’s previous games have been multiplatform. Arkane’s previous game, Deathloop, was only available for PC and PlayStation upon release, though the game is now available for Xbox consoles as well. However, the initial existence of a PS5 version of Redfall has not previously been confirmed; with the announcement in 2021, Arkane immediately spoke of an exclusive for PCs and Xbox Series consoles. Microsoft acquired Bethesda in 2020.
This news appears now that Microsoft wants to take over the publisher Activision Blizzard. Market regulators in the US, EU and UK, among others, were previously critical of this possible takeover, partly because Microsoft would gain an unfair advantage and could limit competition in the market. Regulators are concerned about the implications for the gaming industry if Microsoft excludes the Call of Duty franchise from other platforms, including PlayStation. Microsoft, meanwhile, has signed ten-year agreements with various platform holders, including Nintendo and Nvidia. The company says it has offered Sony the same, although the two parties have not yet come to an agreement.