Set amid the woodlands of a once-sleepy island hamlet, Redfall‘s idyllic setting and vampiric enemies are a far cry from the vast reaches of Starfield’s astral environment. With Arkane’s vampire FPS game releasing ahead of Bethesda’s space epic, I asked Arkane Austin studio director Harvey Smith whether or not he’s worried that Starfield will engulf Redfall just as the undead have.
With a wry smile, Smith states “I love [the Starfield] team and how big they are, and they’ve made some of the most successful games in the world, but I’ve been with Arkane for fifteen years.
“I’ve been through everything on this project: a global pandemic, huge social upheaval, f**king Trump, insurrection, multiple ice storms that shut down the infrastructure of the city, murder hornets, the death of our beloved chairman and founder Robert Altman, the acquisition by Microsoft – I’ve been through everything. When you look at what the Redfall team has overcome, it’s astounding.”
“It’s been fifteen years, and you could say in that whole time that I’ve been in the shadow of [Bethesda Game Studios],” he tells PCGamesN. “We release a great game like Dishonored, they release f**king Skyrim, it’s the biggest thing in history. We released Dishonored 2 – the best game I’ve ever made – and they do some huge Fallout thing. We’re very proud of what we do, and we’re very proud of the team; I love being in the same company with id Software, Shinji Mikami (Tango Gameworks), and Todd Howard, it’s strong all round and we learn from them.”
“Starfield is going to be a really big deal, and it’s going to make people happy for many years going forward, but it’s a very different thing [from Redfall]. There’s some overlap between the audiences but not entirely, and we definitely have a different tone – but I like that they [Bethesda Game Studios] exist and I’m going to play a lot of Starfield.”
Again with a smile he concludes “[Starfield] is entirely a positive for me; it takes a lot of the pressure off, to be honest. Arkane is often the scrappy underdog; we’re smaller than most teams. It would be terrible to feel bad about that, like ‘oh I’m in a company with a bunch of other strong teams that do different games.’ For us, it’s a strength.”
The Starfield release date is set for September, whereas the Redfall release date falls on May 2, although I’d probably wait until the vampires are gone before you book a trip over. If you’re planning to do it anyway, check out our Redfall gameplay preview for a glimpse into Arkane’s new, bloodstained world.