Deathloop is one of the few, big PlayStation 5 exclusives releasing this year, but it was never going to remain only on Sony’s next-gen console. Now we know exactly when its exclusivity period ends: September 14, 2022.
In the latest Deathloop trailer, which first appeared at Sony’s recent “State of Play” aired on July 8, a very brief, easy-to-miss bit of text at the end of the video officially revealed that Deathloop will only be console exclusive to PS5 for one year. After September 14, 2022, the game can appear on other consoles. (Something to remember: Deathloop has always been planned to release on PC at launch.) It’s not hard to guess what “other consoles” means in this context.
Deathloop is published by Bethesda and developed by Arkane, both of which are companies now owned by Xbox. Based on how Microsoft handles first-party games, it’s very likely that soon after Deathloop’s exclusivity deal is over it will head to Gamepass for Xbox Series X/S.
First announced at E3 2019, Deathloop is the next game from Dishonored developers Arkane Studios. When it was first revealed, no platforms were mentioned. But the following year we learned that Deathloop and another Bethesda-published PS5 game, Ghostwire Tokyo, would be timed exclusives. Of course, the question was how long would this window last.
Things got more complicated when Microsoft finalised its purchase of Bethesda earlier this year, though. Xbox boss Phil Spencer confirmed that Microsoft and Xbox would honour all of Bethesda’s current contracts with other companies. Still, one of the biggest PS5 exclusives was a timed exclusive being developed by an Xbox studio. This even led to the official Xbox Twitter account hyping up a PlayStation event yesterday. Weird times, folks.
Losing a console exclusive isn’t always a big deal. But considering how few truly next-gen only games there are right now, eventually losing Deathloop (on top of losing Godfall) isn’t great for Sony, which needs to convince folks to spend money on a new machine. The best way to do that has generally been fancy, new exclusive games. But with big Sony titles like Horizon: Forbidden West and others coming to PS5 and PS4, it’s hard to make a great case for why anyone even needs to buy a new console right now. (Assuming you can even find one.)
Microsoft is arguably doing the worst job at producing next-gen hits, with essentially zero new, exclusive next-gen Xbox games out and not many coming soon. (One of the few, The Medium, will be hitting PS5 in September.) Even the next big Halo is coming to Xbox One in addition to the Series X/S. But Microsoft has also started emphasising Game Pass and offering Xbox on more platforms like phones, making it not as dependent on huge exclusives. Sony on the other hand needs them more than ever as news of indie devs being upset at the company continues to grow and more next-gen games get delayed.
Of course, until you can easily buy either next-gen console, for most folks none of this matters. And now that it’s becoming nearly impossible to even buy current-gen machines, like the PS4 Pro, it seems like most folks, not just Sony, will be missing out on big console exclusive games.