Decrypt’s Art, Fashion, and Entertainment Hub.
You’ve probably heard of Starfield, but have you heard of Redfall? Both are Microsoft-owned games that were released this year—but while Starfield saw over one million concurrent players last month, Redfall has fallen very, very flat.
The vampire-themed first-person shooter game from Bethesda and Arkane Studios (Deathloop) dipped below 100 concurrent players on leading PC gaming platform Steam in June, just two months after its release. Now, the game barely has enough global concurrent players for a full team, seeing just four concurrent players at a low point on Sunday and dipping again to just six concurrent players Friday, according to Steamdb data.
At its peak, Redfall only saw a little over 6,000 concurrent players, however. So while it’s fallen far from all-time highs, the game has never managed to attract more than a modest audience.
Despite having the tech and gaming powerhouse that is Microsoft’s Bethesda Softworks behind it, Redfall has flopped so far. The game has a “Mostly Negative” player score on Steam—and has only managed to get around 2,300 reviews on Steam in total.
By comparison, Arkane’s 2021 shooter Deathloop was an award-winning success. But despite seeing over 20,000 positive Steam reviews, Deathloop hasn’t managed to hang onto players, either. It’s had under 1,000 concurrent players since November 2022, and has less than 150 concurrent players at time of writing.
In May, Microsoft’s Xbox head Phil Spencer apologized to gamers for Redfall’s launch after it was panned by critics, stating in an interview with Kinda Funny Games, “We let a lot of people down this week.”
In June, Bloomberg reported that Redfall suffered from a lack of staff, employee departures, and an unclear vision for the game overall. That month, Redfall released its first major patch, but Xbox players still couldn't get 60 frames per second in the game—until Friday afternoon, that is, when a patch to enable the feature was finally released.
Multiple players reported rampant bugs, glitches, and server issues plaguing Redfall, and expressed frustration that such issues still hadn’t been fixed five months after the game’s initial release. Others got Steam refunds after testing the game for a few hours, according to Steam review data.
“This game was sent out to die,” wrote one Steam reviewer.
“I am not your beta tester,” said another buyer, who logged over 17 hours on the title.
Redfall also comes with a hefty $70 price tag. One more positive reviewer said Redfall was “better than you might think,” but urged gamers to “only buy when on sale.”
“This is the game that made me realize I am not willing to pay premium prices for games anymore. $70? I made a mistake,” wrote another back in May, who logged about 26 hours on Redfall.
Others argued that Redfall does not live up to its perception as a AAA title from a major publisher. Many complained about the game’s price given the quality they experienced. Redfall’s use of artificial intelligence for computer-controlled characters was also panned.
“The AI is pathetic, even on highest difficulty,” said one player, whose review got over 8,000 “helpful” votes.
“The controls are clunky. The graphics are average. The world is empty. I don't understand why these companies think they can start charging $70 for unfinished garbage. I couldn't even stomach an hour of this game,” they added.
Microsoft did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Decrypt's GG.
Editor's note: This story was updated after publication to note Friday's release of the new game patch.