Confirmed: Microsoft killed the PlayStation version of Redfall for Xbox exclusivity (Update)

Redfall Black Sun Vampire God
(Image credit: Bethesda Softworks)

What you need to know

  • Redfall is an upcoming Xbox and PC game from ZeniMax's Arkane. 
  • Microsoft acquired ZeniMax back in 2021, and noted that it would be making games exclusive on a case-by-case basis.
  • One of those games seems to have been Redfall, which Arkane confirmed in an interview was also in development for PlayStation originally. 

Update (March 23, 2023): Following the publication of this article, a Microsoft spokesperson sent over the following statement: "We haven't pulled any games from PlayStation. In fact, we've expanded our footprint of games that we've shipped on Sony's PlayStation since our acquisition of ZeniMax, and the first two games we shipped after closing were PlayStation 5 exclusives. We did the same thing since our closing of Minecraft as we extended the reach of that franchise. All of the games that were available on PlayStation when we acquired ZeniMax in March 2021 are still available on PlayStation, and we have continued to do content updates on PlayStation and PC. We have always said that future decisions on whether to distribute ZeniMax games for other consoles will be made on a case-by-case basis."

Original article: 

Microsoft's upcoming console exclusive was a little less console exclusive until the recent Bethesda acquisition. 

A few years ago, Microsoft acquired ZeniMax Media, and with it, franchises like Elder Scrolls, DOOM, and Fallout. One of the studios therein is Arkane, known for games like Dishonored, Prey, and the upcoming vampiric shooter Redfall, slated for launch in May per our earlier report on the topic

In a huge media blitz this week, Redfall was previewed by various outlets, who almost universally praised the upcoming co-op shooter. The game is somewhat controversial in essence, as a departure from the typical games Arkane is known for, opting for cooperative play in a persistent online world. Although, the studio is working to remove the online-only requirement for Redfall, confirmed in interviews this week.  

Another thing Redfall developer Arkane confirmed in an interview (via IGN France) this week is the existence of a PlayStation client of the game. However, as you might've expected, Microsoft killed the PlayStation version of Redfall when it acquired the developer a few years back. 

Per translation, Arkane's creative director Harvey Smith confirmed that Microsoft was behind the cancellation of Redfall's PlayStation version. "We were bought by Microsoft and it was a change with capital C. They came in and said, 'No PlayStation 5, we're focusing on Xbox, PC, and Game Pass."

Microsoft always noted to regulators previously that ZeniMax games would maintain exclusive status on Windows and Xbox on a "case by case" basis. Since then, the assumption has been that new IPs and new franchises would generally remain exclusive to Xbox and Windows, such as the upcoming space RPG Starfield.

Still, the revelation could potentially prove problematic for Microsoft, who is seeking to acquire mega-publisher Activision-Blizzard in a blockbuster $69 billion deal. One of the main arguments against the deal is the idea of foreclosure, which refers to the possibility of Microsoft taking games like Call of Duty and Diablo away from PlayStation and other platforms. Microsoft vehemently denies that it intends to do so, offering various platforms up to ten years of licensing for Call of Duty. However, detractors could quite easily point to Redfall as an example of Microsoft's willingness to cancel games for other platforms that were already in development — should they be acquired. 

Microsoft could easily point to the fact that it still supports PlayStation and other platforms, with titles like Minecraft Legends, which are still in development for competing consoles. Microsoft could also point to games like Silent Hill 2 Remake and Final Fantasy 16 as examples of PlayStation's similar eagerness to keep content off competing platforms as well.

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Redfall

Team up with your friends or go it alone in this vampiric shooter, set in the once-peaceful town of Redfall. Wield spectacular weapons and mysterious paranormal powers and carve a path through hordes of vampires to save the islet, and maybe the world. 

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Xbox Game Pass Ultimate

Redfall, Starfield, and other Bethesda games are also available day one on Xbox Game Pass, which gives you access to hundreds of blockbuster games from Microsoft, EA, and other publishers. 

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Jez Corden
Co-Managing Editor

Jez Corden is a Managing Editor at Windows Central, focusing primarily on all things Xbox and gaming. Jez is known for breaking exclusive news and analysis as relates to the Microsoft ecosystem while being powered by tea. Follow on Twitter @JezCorden and listen to his XB2 Podcast, all about, you guessed it, Xbox!