Xbox’s chief financial officer says that Microsoft’s aim isn’t to take away content from other platforms but to be first or best on Xbox.
Once news broke that Microsoft had acquired Bethesda there were immediate questions about whether this meant all future Bethesda games will be exclusive to the Xbox platform.
Xbox head Phil Spencer did say that exclusivity will be done on a case-by-case basis and now another Microsoft representative has said that exclusivity isn’t necessarily the main goal behind the acquisition and it’s all about being first or best.
Xbox chief financial officer Tim Stuart, whilst attending the Jefferies Interactive Entertainment conference (which has been transcribed by SeekingAlpha), talked about Microsoft’s plans for Bethesda games once the deal is finalised in 2021.
‘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,’ he said.
‘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.’
Stuart’s wording very much implies that new Bethesda titles, like Elder Scrolls 6 and Starfield, could release on the Xbox Series X/S as timed exclusives, eventually coming to other platforms afterwards.
There’s already precedence for this. Bethesda’s Deathloop and Ghostwire: Tokyo will both be PlayStation 5 exclusives (a deal that was signed before the Microsoft buyout) and are said to be coming to other consoles post-launch.
That said, Spencer has indicated that Microsoft can still recoup its investment even if games like Elder Scrolls 6 release as Xbox exclusives, although he didn’t directly confirm it will happen.
Considering the acquisition hasn’t been fully processed yet, it’s likely that Microsoft simply hasn’t decided yet, although time will tell eventually.
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