Bethesda Game Studios fans who are interested in playing The Elder Scrolls VI, Starfield, and other of the studios highly anticipated RPG sequels will probably only be able to enjoy them on platforms that support Xbox Game Pass. This is according to Head of Xbox Phil Spencer, who took part in a roundtable discussion today regarding Microsoft’s Bethesda acquisition and clarified what the company’s stance was in regard to exclusivity. While Microsoft has agreed to honor Bethesda’s existing terms of agreements to make select titles exclusive to PlayStation 5 (e.g., Tango Gameworks’ Ghostwire: Tokyo), Spencer noted that the point of the deal was all about delivering exclusive experiences for its popular game subscription service, Xbox Game Pass.
“Obviously I can’t sit here and say every Bethesda game is [an Xbox] exclusive, because we know that’s not true,” he explained in a transcript provided by Eurogamer. “There’s contractual obligations that we’re going to see through. We have games that exist on other platforms and we’re going to go and support those games on the platforms they’re on. There’s communities of players – we love those communities and will continue to invest in them – and even in the future there might be…either contractual things or legacy on different platforms that we’ll go do.”
“But if you’re an Xbox customer, the thing I want you to know is this is about delivering great exclusive games for you that ship on platforms where Game Pass exists. And that’s our goal, that’s why we’re doing this, that’s the root of this partnership that we’re building – and the creative capability we’ll be able to bring to market for Xbox customers is going to be the best it’s ever been for Xbox after we’re done here.”
The implication is that most, if not all, of Microsoft’s newly acquired studios’ (i.e., Bethesda Game Studios, id Software, ZeniMax Online Studios, Arkane, MachineGames, Tango Gameworks, Alpha Dog, and Roundhouse Studios) future titles will be exclusive to Xbox consoles and PC. They should also be available to play on any platform that can access Microsoft’s budding game streaming service, xCloud.