Microsoft Confirms Some Future Bethesda Games Will Be Exclusive To Xbox And PC

Microsoft Confirms Some Future Bethesda Games Will Be Exclusive To Xbox And PC
Photo: Christian Petersen, Getty Images

Microsoft’s $US7.5 ($10) billion acquisition of Bethesda Software parent company, Zenimax Media, is complete, the company announced today. While the full ramifications of the deal will play out in the months and years to come, Xbox boss Phil Spencer did confirm one thing: some of Bethesda’s future games will be exclusive to Microsoft’s platforms.

“With the addition of the Bethesda creative teams, gamers should know that Xbox consoles, PC, and Game Pass will be the best place to experience new Bethesda games, including some new titles in the future that will be exclusive to Xbox and PC players,” Spencer wrote in today’s blog post.

Last fall when the deal was first announced, Spencer said that it would honour the existing terms of agreements Bethesda already had to make Deathloop and GhostWire: Tokyo PS5 console exclusives, but would decide which of the publishers futures games to make multiplatform on a “case-by-case” basis. Today’s news makes it clear that at least some of them will be exclusive to Xbox and PC, but it’s still unclear which those will be.

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Bethesda is currently working on The Elder Scrolls VI as well as a new scifi RPG called Starfield. Presumably the company will also be putting out a new Doom and Fallout in the next decade. At the same time, it’s possible today’s comments about exclusivity might apply to new games Bethesda hasn’t even announced yet, and that aren’t sequels to its existing popular series.

In the past, Spencer has said that upcoming Bethesda games will release day and date on Game Pass, Microsoft’s Netflix-like subscription service for games. More of the publisher’s existing back catalogue is also expected to come to the platform. Spencer said some of them will be joining the platform as early as later this week. Last night, VGC reported that this news will come in the form of a video presentation on March 11.

The official completion of the Bethesda acquisition means Microsoft now has 23 studios developing games for it. The company spent the end of the last console generation going on a spending spree acquiring the likes of DoubleFine, Obsidian, and others, with an eye toward beefing up its lineup of strong first-party exclusive Xbox games. Despite these efforts, the initial release schedule for the Xbox Series X/S has been lacking so far. However, Xbox Director of Program Management Jason Ronald said in a recent podcast that Microsoft still has some as-of-yet unannounced Xbox games coming out later this year.

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  • I suspect very little, if anything will go past a PC release.
    Right now it’s about making the whole affair look like something that changes over time.

    • Yep. We can obviously talk about all the pros and cons as to why Microsoft will or wont release games on the PS5 but when it comes down to it, gamepass is everything to them. They are going to invest, and have invested, billions into it. For This reason alone I believe they will make just about every game they possibly can exclusive to xbox and PC

  • I’d wager that outside of Xbox, Bethesda games will be available on PC via the Microsoft store or PC Gamepass.

    As much as it sucks for PS fans, with every PS acquisition and marketing deal exclusivity is more of a certainty rather than a question. So chalk one up for Microsoft in the game of tic for tac.

    From what I am told (someone please correct me if I am wrong), multiplatform development is actually both a lengthy and costly process in the development cycle. Therefore, reducing the development requirement to the Microsoft ecosystem would mean that the overall game development cycle is more cost effective and time efficient. This leaves me to question what is more important to Microsoft, a PlayStation sales pipeline or growing Gamepass subscriptions via an expedient and reliable stream of first party games?

    • I cant imagine multiplatform is that much trouble nowadays when both consoles are closer than ever to off the shelf PC parts.
      When a big game might have a budget of $70-100million, the cost to make it multiplatform would be a drop in the bucket. Esepcially when you consider how many more sales it will net you.

      Now thats just from the game designer perspective though.
      From Microsofts perspective here, owning the company, theres the money made in pulling people to their ecosystem. So they can balance the loss of a particular games sales on the PS platform against the extra sales of xbox hardware and future games sales of people brought to your ecosystem by having a great exclusive.

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