Microsoft Is Running Out Of Excuses To Say ‘Starfield' Is An Xbox Exclusive
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We're back in this news cycle, when PlayStation fans attempt to read between the lines to see whether Bethesda titles are still coming to their platform of choice, despite Microsoft's $7 billion acquisition of the company and all of its IPs.
It all began with a Gamespot interview with Bethesda's Pete Hines.
"First and foremost, there are Xbox brands that exist on other platforms. That's something I believe you should be aware of.
When Mojang was purchased by Xbox, Minecraft didn't simply vanish from the scene," Hines said.
"On all of these other platforms, it's a really popular game. It's not a case of 'Sorry, you'll never get to play another Bethesda game.'
There will undoubtedly be certain games that you will not be able to play [on PlayStation]... It was revealed that Starfield will be an Xbox exclusive.
I'm not sure whether I'd go so far as to say you're done playing PlayStation games. But, once again, I don't have a solution for you right now."
In other words, Hines is claiming that he can't tell definitively if someone would never play another Bethesda game on a different platform since, well, he's probably not the one making those choices. But he dismissed the notion that this was a noteworthy statement that gave PlayStation fans hope for future Bethesda games:
This resurrected an old conspiracy idea that suggested not just games like Starfield, but even Starfield itself, could be an Xbox timed exclusive that would be released on PlayStation later. Aaron Greenberg of Microsoft, on the other hand, jumped in to try to be as clear as possible on this.
Because their acquisition of Bethesda is so recent, Microsoft is in a strange position right now. As a result, previous agreements are still in place, such as Bethesda's Deathloop, which is set to be published as a timed exclusive for PlayStation this autumn.
So, in that scenario, PlayStation fans will undoubtedly be receiving a Bethesda game.
But it's clear that Microsoft's multibillion-dollar acquisition of Bethesda is mainly intended to provide them with an exclusive roster of IPs, the precise tool they needed to effectively compete with PlayStation and its must-have first-party titles. That's why Starfield is only available on Xbox One and via Game Pass.
That is why Elder Scrolls 6 is virtually likely to be. It's why the most, if not all, of Bethesda's future games will be.
The counter-argument is that by keeping Bethesda games off PlayStation, which sold 116 million PS4s and will likely sell at least that many PS5s in the long run, Microsoft is “limiting sales.” However, no one asks why Sony is limiting sales by not releasing God of War, Horizon Zero Dawn, or Ghost of Tsushima on Xbox.
People will look at you like you've lost your mind if you suggest that Nintendo bring Mario or Zelda games to the PS5 and Series X. I realize that's a bit of a different situation since Bethesda used to be independent, but $7 billion gets Microsoft all the exclusivity it wants. So, let's put an end to this dance.
Thanks to Paul Tassi at Forbes whose reporting provided the original basis for this story.