Future Bethesda Games Will Come To Other Consoles ‘On A Case-By-Case Basis,’ Microsoft Says

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Screenshot: Bethesda
Screenshot: Bethesda

Following the announcement that Microsoft is buying Bethesda’s parent company, ZeniMax Media, Xbox boss Phil Spencer opened up the possibility that some of the newly acquired publisher’s future games could become exclusives.

In an interview with Bloomberg, Spencer said that upcoming Bethesda games like its single-player sci-fi RPG Starfield will come to Xbox, PC, and Game Pass. Whether it will also still come to PS5 is now less than certain. “We’ll take other consoles on a case-by-case basis,” Spencer told Bloomberg.

The news of Microsoft’s biggest acquisition yet in the gaming space has brought up a number of questions regarding exclusivity. For example, Bethesda’s parent company also owns Arkane Studios, makers of Deathloop, and Tango Gameworks, which is currently developing GhostWire: Tokyo. Both of those games are set to be timed-console exclusives on PS5, and Spencer told Bloomberg that will remain the case.

The fate of games like Starfield, Elder Scrolls VI, and whatever the next Fallout turns out to be are now up in the air. Bethesda has also recently started porting a number of its games, like Doom and Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus, to the Nintendo Switch. It’s unclear how much of that will continue under the publisher’s new ownership.

Update – 12:18 p.m. ET, 9/21/20: Spencer mentioned exclusivity again in an interview on CNBC today, stating future Bethesda games would come to Game Pass on release day:

The commitments we’ve already made with the gamers out there on the games people know about, we will continue with those commitments. The thing this is really about is a huge investment in our Xbox community. They know that the great games coming from ZeniMax and all of those studios — we’re now over 23 studios inside of Xbox — those games will be able to come to the Xbox community, they’ll come to Game Pass day-and-date, and people will just have this amazing collection of great games to continue to play on Xbox.

Comments

  • “So in the PS5’s case… Nah.”

    Seriously. I’d bet most stuff still comes to Switch but they flat out ignore Sony on future games that aren’t basically already close to completion and coming for the PS4/PS5.

    If they allow something like Elder Scrolls VI to launch on PS5 it’ll blow my mind.

      • Thats the argument, when does a game stop being a system seller? We know its not one, two at a minimum, three maybe?

        I think the big GaaS games like FO76 & ESO will continue to be crossplatform, multiplayer only titles as well (just to try and build critical mass), but singleplayer focused titles I really can’t see getting releases until much much later, if at all.

    • Gamers voted with their wallets and supported Sony with their exclusivity arrangements.

      We had the opportunity to support against exclusivity, this is what happens when you don’t.

  • Sony was stupid to provoke Microsoft in the first place. What did they think would happen going 1v1 against a Mega Corp?? They pushed exclusives so hard it was like they were prejudiced.

    Sony brought this on themself. Won’t be surprised if Microsoft pushes for a monopoly in the industry. They have the power.

      • Biased to who?? These mega corps don’t muck around and the gaming landscape can shift dramatically with these kinds of events. I don’t want a one company monopoly

        • Biased toward MS and the ridiculous idea that a monopoly is the fault of Sony.

          Sadly a lot of folks bought in to the tall poppy marketing push of poor little MS being unfairly crushed by the evil monolith of Sony.

          • MS doesn’t have a monopoly, but MS buying Bethesda is certainly in retaliation for Sony’s approach to exclusives.

    • Lol wut? Having exclusives is ‘provoking Microsoft’? Was Sega ‘provoking’ Nintendo by not making Sonic for SNES? What a ridiculous thing to say.
      As a consumer, it’s sucky that I’ll likely need to upgrade my PC or get an Xbox if I want to play ESVI, but at the end of the day, games define consoles. And having the same library of games across consoles would quickly result in a monopoly, IMO. All other differences are basically cosmetic at this point.

      • “And having the same library of games across consoles would quickly result in a monopoly, IMO.”

        That is the exact opposite of a Monopoly champ.

  • Hahaha, wow. This is an unexpectedly horrifying power move. I mean, good if xbox is your primary, but that’s gonna upset a lot of folks to have their favourite franchise just straight-up bought out and held to ransom. First party is one thing, but buying popularity? That’s pretty low. Not that we should expect anything from the company that tried to dictate its own wanktastic nicknames like ‘the one’ for the xbone.

    Luckily, I’m less affected because I was a) already shitty with Bethesda about their direction (FO76), not having much faith in TES6, and b) playing on PC anyway, so will still be able to pick it up – and for free! Thanks GamePass! – if it turns out to be a faithful TES game and not some NewBethesda corporate trash.

    • Yeah that’s pretty much my take away too.

      Recognise this is a pretty big move but I was more pissed at the TR2 timed exclusives than this by a huge margin, I’ve just found it hard to enjoy the ES and Fallout games for a while now.
      If MS manage to the big Bethesda titles and make them truly amazing again I’ll finally upgrade my PC and grab em on the cheap down the line.

    • So FF VII & XIV bought as exclusives doesn’t count right?

      This is a fight that Sony started, but timed exclusives don’t work for Microsoft’s Gamepass model, hence why they are just buying out studios.

      • Microsoft was going to be pushed out of gaming with how much Sony has had a boot on the throat.

        Honestly, I’m fine with this. MS is giving us games across two platforms, and frequently more. And if Sony or Nintendo allowed Gamepass on their consoles, I think Microsoft would be there with bells on.

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