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Redfall studio was reportedly working on offline mode for May release before closure

Arkane Austin – one of four studios closed as part of a shock announcement by Microsoft earlier today – was reportedly working on a major update for its embattled vampire shooter Redfall that was set to introduce an offline mode this month.

That’s according to IGN’s Wesley Yin-Poole, who reports Arkane Austin was working on DLC and updates for the game “until very recently”. These included features promised as part of Redfall’s long-awaited Hero Pass and a more general update adding an offline mode.

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As per IGN, Redfall’s Hero Pass was set to add two new characters this “Halloween” – almost a year and a half after the game’s critically panned launch – while an offline mode was due to release sometime this month, until Microsoft’s closure decision put an end to those plans.

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Last year, Redfall director Harvey Smith told Eurogamer Arkane Austin was “working actively” to remove the game’s hugely unpopular always-online requirement when playing strictly in single-player mode – and the feature’s failure to launch following Arkane’s closure raises questions about Redfall’s future, should Microsoft take the next step of pulling its servers offline.

Today’s studio closures – which have been confirmed to impact Arkane Austin, Hi-Fi Rush and The Evil Within studio Tango Gameworks, Mighty Doom developer Alpha Dog Games, and Roundhouse Studios – have been met with widespread condemnation. Arkane Lyon’s studio and co-creative director even took to social media to describe the move as a “fucking gut stab”.

Since then, former Blizzard president Mike Ybarra has moved to defend Xbox boss Phil Spencer, insisting, “I know this hurts him as much as anyone else.”

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