Microsoft shocked the gaming world when it acquired Bethesda and parent company ZeniMax Media recently for a whopping $7.5B. However, the decision has left a lot of people curious about the future of Bethesda games on other platforms, notably Sony’s upcoming PS5.
Kotaku’s Stephen Totilo interviewed Xbox’s Phil Spencer to discuss a bit more about the deal and what implications it may have for players outside the Xbox ecosystem.
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“Is it possible to recoup a $7.5 billion investment if you don’t sell Elder Scrolls VI on the PlayStation?” asked Totilo.
“Yes,” Spencer quickly replied. Then he paused.
“I don’t want to be flip about that,” Spencer added. “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.”
“When I think about where people are going to be playing and the number of devices that we had, and we have xCloud and PC and Game Pass and our console base, I don’t have to go ship those games on any other platform other than the platforms that we support in order to kind of make the deal work for us,” Spencer continued. “Whatever that means.”
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Bethesda is home to some of the biggest franchises in gaming including The Elder Scrolls and Fallout franchises, as well as DOOM, Wolfenstein, Dishonored, and more. Not having future titles arrive on PlayStation 5 or elsewhere puts Microsoft in a unique position, and one it must navigate delicately.
Xbox purchased Bethesda after it already had timed exclusivity with PS5 for games like Deathloop and Ghostwire: Tokyo and Spencer has stated that the company plans to honor those deals. It has already begun adding some of Bethesda’s back catalog of games to Xbox Game Pass including the recent addition of DOOM Eternal earlier this month.
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While he didn’t completely rule out the idea of the upcoming Elder Scrolls VI or Starfield coming to other platforms outside Xbox and PC he did confirm in September that future titles would come to “other consoles on a case by case basis.”
This wouldn’t be out of the norm as Xbox has already released a number of first-party games on other platforms—most notably Minecraft, which Microsoft acquired in 2015 for $2.5B. Additionally, titles such as Cuphead have made it over to PS4 and Nintendo Switch with a version even playable on Tesla electric cars. Recently, Ori and the Will of the Wisps debuted on Nintendo Switch, as well.
Even after the massive purchase of Bethesda, Microsoft said it still considering purchasing additional video game studios “where it makes sense.”
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We’ve learned quite a bit about the upcoming Xbox Series X during our final hands-on preview including how specific games enhanced for Xbox Series X perform as well as just how important an SSD is for next-gen gaming.
If you’re still looking to get your hands on Xbox Series X or S be sure to check out our Xbox preorder page for the most up-to-date information on where to purchase. We’ve also got a handy next-gen guide that includes how to transfer saves and a list of all games coming to Xbox Series X and S.