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Xbox's leadership reshuffle isn't just corporate chair-swapping, it could help Bethesda avoid another Redfall

Microsoft hopes that a Booty (role) expansion might help its studios to produce the best work possible.

Some characters exploring in Redfall.
Image credit: VG247/Bethesda

Some of Xbox’s top executives have received shiny new titles to put on their office doors thanks to a bout of reorganisation. Why should you care? Well, the changes could potentially help prevent another game ending up like Redfall.

The changes, detailed in an internal memo published by The Verge, will see execs Sarah Bond and Matt Booty receive big promotions, with the former becoming Xbox president and the latter henceforth going by president of game content and studios. From the looks of the memo, which was penned by Microsoft gaming CEO and noted Hexen fan Phil Spencer, Booty’s move looks like the one which could potentially end up having the most tangible ramifications for the games the brand puts out going forwards.

According to the memo, in his new role, Booty will head up a revamped organisational structure that’ll integrate ZeniMax and Bethesda slightly more heavily into Microsoft’s gaming arm, with the aim being that teams under the Xbox umbrella will work more closely together from now on.

“Great games are fundamental to everything we do,” Spencer wrote, “We believe that an expanded gaming content organization — one that enables Xbox Game Studios and ZeniMax’s development studios to collaborate effectively together — will empower those world-class studios to do their best work in growing our portfolio of games players love.”

While the Microsoft gaming CEO made sure to clarify that “ZeniMax will continue to operate as a limited integration entity led by Jamie Leder, President and CEO, reporting to (Booty),” it certainly looks like the move is designed to help ensure that we’ll get less Redfall-eque situations going forwards.

As pretty much anyone who played it will tell you, Arkane Austin’s vampire-themed FPS didn’t live up to expectations, leading Spencer to say that Xbox would “revisit” the development process that ultimately produced the Bethesda-published game, as well as work to improve the state of it.

The newly-promoted Booty also had to confirm in an interview that there weren’t any plans in place at Xbox to shut down Arkane Austin following Redfall’s release, an outcome which, given the closure- and layoff-heavy state of the games industry in recent times, some fans had feared could come to pass.

Xbox also recently revealed that its gaming revenue had seen a year-on-year increase during the first quarter of the 2024 fiscal year, with Starfield’s release having been one of the drivers behind the bump.

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