Xbox Boss Phil Spencer sat down for an interview with Kotaku this past weekend. During the sit-down, Spencer touched on a variety of subjects, from next-gen consoles to Halo Infinite. But arguably, the most important topic of the interview was the possibility of lucrative Xbox exclusives. This comes after Microsoft announced the acquisition of ZeniMax Media, the parent company of video game company, Bethesda.
Microsoft bought ZeniMax Media for $7.5 billion in September. The big buy gives Microsoft ownership of Bethesda Softworks, Bethesda Game Studios, id Software, ZeniMax Online Studios, Arkane, MachineGames, Tango Gameworks, Alpha Dog, and Roundhouse Studios. Yes, that’s a long list of game developers, which brings an even longer list of game titles to Microsoft. The company now owns titles like The Elder Scrolls, Doom, and Fallout. However, Microsoft says existing exclusivity deals for games like Ghostwire: Tokyo will not be changed. But this still left PlayStation stans fearful for their gaming future. Now, Phil Spencer is (almost) answering the question of Bethesda Xbox exclusives. When asked if he thought Microsoft could regain $7.5 billion if they didn’t release Elder Scrolls VI on PlayStation, he replied “yes,” then elaborated.
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.
Although Spencer didn’t clearly state future Bethesda titles would become exclusives, he did say that Microsoft has no obligation to publish games on platforms they don’t support. In other words, business is business and Microsoft will be able to decide whether or not the games will be released on multiple platforms. Spencer also says future ZeniMax Media titles will be determined on a case-by-case basis. According to Kotaku, another possibility could see ZeniMax titles, “sold at full price on PlayStation but offered at a large discount on the Xbox platform as part of the $10/month Game Pass subscription.” However, with no clear answer from Microsoft, players will just have to wait until next-gen consoles hit the shelves.