While it’s been a big week in general for the industry between the pre-orders going live for the Xbox Series S and X as well as the start of the Tokyo Game Show 2020, the biggest news kicked off the week with the announcement that Microsoft was purchasing third party publisher Bethesda alongside all of its studios and IPs. It was a head spinning piece of news, no doubt, and a lot of questions remain, with the biggest one being that of exclusivity: will Bethesda games remain multiplatform or will they be exclusive to the Xbox ecosystem? Well, Phil Spencer isn’t saying for sure, but he’s got some comments that you can take at least a few ways.
Talking with Yahoo Finance, Spencer was asked outright if Bethesda titles would be exclusives or if they would come to other platforms. He largely dodged the question, saying it would be a case-by-case basis, but did say that he saw the move as a huge get for Game Pass, which will see Bethesda titles on the service day 1 after the deal is finalized, and that the Xbox community should see it as an investment in their ecosystem, and that he wanted that ecosystem to be the absolutely best place to play those games (thanks to Twitter user GameRy for the full clip as seen below).
“But as the Xbox community, what they should feel is this is a huge investment in the experiences they are gonna have in the Xbox ecosystem. And we want the Xbox ecosystem to be absolutely the best place to play and we think game availability is absolutely part of that.”
You can look at that statement several ways, but the part about the Xbox ecosystem seems to be pointing to the games being only in that ecosystem, though there are other ways it could be the ‘absolute’ best way to play from exclusive DLC to more technical aspects like resolution or graphical features. It was said that Bethesda will continue publishing games under their umbrella, but it remains unclear how much freedom that will actually equate to, though it did give some hope that the games could still release on Sony and Nintendo systems. While it still is up in the air, I wouldn’t hold my breath about seeing the next Elder Scrolls or DOOM on a competitor’s machine.
— GameRy (@GameRy89) September 25, 2020