Back in September, the gaming world was stunned to find out Microsoft purchased Bethesda and all the studios under its parent company’s umbrella (ZeniMax Media). Suddenly, all future games in series like DOOM, Fallout, and The Elder Scrolls are up in the air. Will Microsoft make all upcoming Bethesda titles exclusive to the Xbox Series X? Or will games simply release on Xbox first? Thanks to some clarification from Xbox chief financial officer Tim Stuart, it looks like the latter is true.
The Bethesda acquisition is going to prove fruitful for Microsoft
Speaking at Jefferies Interactive Entertainment as part of an Earning Call, Stuart shared the following statements with regards to exclusivity:
What we’ll do in the long run is we don’t have intentions of just pulling all of Bethesda content out of Sony or Nintendo or otherwise.
…But what we want is we want that content, in the long run, to be either first or better or best or pick your differentiated experience, on our platforms. We will want Bethesda content to show up the best as — on our platforms.
…Yes. That’s not a point about being exclusive. That’s not a point about we’re being — adjusting timing or content or road map. But if you think about something like Game Pass, if it shows up best in Game Pass, that’s what we want to see, and we want to drive our Game Pass subscriber base through that Bethesda pipeline.
…So again, I’m not announcing pulling content from platforms one way or the other. But I suspect you’ll continue to see us shift towards a first or better or best approach on our platforms.
More than anything, Microsoft wants gamers to know all future Bethesda published games will show up on Xbox first and be the definitive way to play them. Not only will the Series X provide graphical and performance enhancements to future titles, but Game Pass will give players an inexpensive method to experience those games.
All that said, I’m not sure I believed Phil Spencer when he said Microsoft doesn’t need to port games to other platforms to make up for the buyout. Sure, Microsoft has a ton of money and resources. However, selling games to as many consumers as possible is always the best practice. Financially AND morally. I believe the majority of Bethesda’s future catalog will end up on Switch and PS5 months after they launch on Series X.
Enthusiasts, what do you make of Stuart’s statements on the future of Bethesda? Let us know below.