Xbox Boss on Bethesda Exclusivity: “I Don’t Have to Ship Those Games on Any Other Platform to Make the Deal Work for Us”

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Back in September, Microsoft shocked the gaming world by announcing that it had acquired Bethesda Softworks’ legendary network of developers, which comprises the likes of Bethesda Game Studios, id Software, MachineGames, and Tango Gameworks. Something that most of us have been wondering is whether that meant upcoming hits like The Elder Scrolls VI and Starfield would be Xbox exclusives.

A new interview has shed light into that. Speaking with Kotaku, Xbox boss Phil Spencer talked a little bit about the acquisition and clearly suggested that Microsoft would still profit from the acquisition even if future Bethesda titles were left out of Sony and Nintendo’s stables.

“Is it possible to recoup a $7.5 billion investment if you don’t sell Elder Scrolls VI on the PlayStation?” Kotaku asked.

“Yes,” Spencer replied.

That was probably the exact moment where Sony fanboys turned white with fear, but Spencer goes on to state that Microsoft’s deal has nothing to do with taking games away from people.

“I don’t want to be flip about that,” he said. “This deal was not done to take games away from another player base like that. Nowhere in the documentation that we put together was: ‘How do we keep other players from playing these games?’ We want more people to be able to play games, not fewer people to be able to go play games.”

So, does that mean PlayStation 5 is getting The Elder Scrolls VI, Starfield, and other future titles like Fallout 5? Your guess is as good as ours, as Spencer reverses his stance again and confirms that he doesn’t have to release Bethesda’s games on any other platform aside from Xbox.

“But I’ll also say in the model—I’m just answering directly the question that you had—when I think about where people are going to be playing and the number of devices that we had, and we have xCloud and PC and Game Pass and our console base, I don’t have to go ship those games on any other platform other than the platforms that we support in order to kind of make the deal work for us. Whatever that means.”

Tsing Mui
News poster at The FPS Review.

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