Redfall Dev On How Murder Hornets, COVID, Aliens, Insurrection, And Ice Storms Affected Game's Development

"We had so many things happen in the last few years that I think would have tanked a lot of development teams."


Redfall creative director Harvey Smith believes the range of issues that developer Arkane faced during the development of the vampire game would have "tanked" a different studio. Appearing on the Iron Lords podcast, Smith listed off the many real-world events that transpired during the development of Redfall, including the COVID-19 pandemic, the January 6 storming of the US Capitol, murder hornets, aliens, and power outages in its local community of Austin, Texas, and much more.

"This team has been through so much along the way. We started this project before COVID. We've had the pandemic, everybody went work-from-home, we had the Great Resignation. In Austin, we had multiple ice storms that shut the electrical grid down for weeks at a time. We had to boil our water for a while. The country had an insurrection. We had important social movements happening across the country. We had murder hornets," Smith said. "The Air Force was talking about aliens at one point. We had so many things happen in the last few years that I think would have tanked a lot of development teams."

Please use a html5 video capable browser to watch videos.
This video has an invalid file format.
Sorry, but you can't access this content!
Please enter your date of birth to view this video

By clicking 'enter', you agree to GameSpot's
Terms of Use and Privacy Policy

Now Playing: Redfall Isn't What We Expected | Hands-On Preview

Smith went on to say: "At Arkane, we didn't work people too hard. We gave everybody Fridays off during the worst part of the pandemic. The company was kind enough to extend the [release] date so we did not have to crunch ourselves to death. We just kept putting the love into it."

Another major event that happened during Redfall's development was that studio owner ZeniMax got bought by Microsoft. This represented a "sea change" for Arkane, Smith said, in part because it allowed the studio to focus on fewer platforms because PlayStation was now out of the mix.

Smith also mentioned that the potential audience for Redfall is bigger than anything Arkane has seen before thanks to Game Pass. People might see that the next game from Arkane is out and on Game Pass and opt to try it out thanks to Game Pass, Smith said.

Redfall launches May 2 for Xbox Game Pass on console and PC. The game has an always-online requirement, even for its single-player mode, but Arkane might remove this requirement at some point.

Arkane releases in May on Xbox Game Pass for console and PC. For more, check out GameSpot's recent preview, "Don't Worry, Redfall Puts An Unmistakably Arkane Spin On The Looter Shooter."

The products discussed here were independently chosen by our editors. GameSpot may get a share of the revenue if you buy anything featured on our site.

Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email

Join the conversation
There are 1 comments about this story