Some employees from Arkane reportedly hoped that Microsoft would cancel Redfall after the company acquired Zenimax.
According to a report by Bloomberg, employees at Arkane were told to create Redfall as a “games as a service”; implementing online play and repetitive gameplay loops in order to monetize the title well after its launch.
This direction the top allegedly impacted morale at Arkane and impacted the overall end product. The report goes on to explain other difficulties the developer faced in the wake of Zenimax’s alleged decision-making.
Arkane is previously known for their first person and narrative-driven titles like Wolfenstein: Youngblood and Prey. Their titles which did have multiplayer typically had them as extra modes in addition to a main single-player story. Reportedly, the studio’s lack of experience with “games as a service” and their inability to hire individuals familiar with that monetization model further exacerbated problems during development.
Bloomberg ultimately reports that after Microsoft acquired Zenimax: “The acquisition gave some staff at Arkane hope that Microsoft might cancel Redfall or, better yet, let them reboot it as a single-player game”. This never came to pass and the rest is as we know it, Redfall released this year to mixed reviews from critics.