Xbox boss Phil Spencer believes that delaying Redfall and Starfield was the right thing to do.
Back in May of this year, Bethesda and Microsoft made the decision to delay both upcoming titles into 2023. In a new interview with The Verge, Spencer was asked about the decision to delay these big hitters, which were both first scheduled to release during this holiday season.
As pointed out by the Xbox head, the decision to delay both games surely wasn’t an easy one, but having shipped games too early in the past, it felt like the best choice with quality in mind.
“I think positioning it as a decision might be slightly wrong, at least for me”, Spencer said. “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. Now, it is at some level, because I have shipped games too early. We have experienced shipping games too early.”
Following the purchase of Zenimax and Bethesda, although there are surely financial implications, Spencer wanted to make sure that the development teams got all the time they needed to deliver something that they believe in.
“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.”
The Xbox head added, that in the end, delaying both titles proved to be the right decision.
“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.”
Some interesting context from Spencer about the delay of Arkane Austin's Redfall and Bethesda’s sci-fi action RPG. In the same interview, Spencer also talked about mobile games being as important as Call of Duty for Microsoft.
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