Last month Microsoft announced the acquisition of ZeniMax Media and its subsidiaries, including Doom, The Elder Scrolls, and Fallout publisher Bethesda. While Microsoft hasn’t detailed its release plans for Bethesda titles in the future, Xbox’s Phil Spencer says that the price of the deal isn’t forcing any decisions.
The acquisition cost Microsoft $7.5 billion and is expected to close soon, but Microsoft has said that existing exclusivity deals for games like Deathloop and Ghostwire: Tokyo on the PlayStation 5 will not be changed. The future of Bethesda titles is less certain, however, with Microsoft previously stating that it would determine release platforms for games on a “case-by-case” basis.
Spencer, speaking to Kotaku, didn’t elaborate on that stance, but did mention that Microsoft has no obligation to release games on platforms it doesn’t control for the financial aspect of the deal to make sense.
“[W]e 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. Whatever that means,” replied Spencer when asked about whether Microsoft will need to sell The Elder Scrolls VI on PS5 to recoup costs.
Although Spencer doesn’t outright say whether future Bethesda titles will be multi-platform, it does seem clear now that Microsoft has the flexibility to decide that without having to think about the costs of the publisher purchase. It has also released Microsoft-funded titles on competing platforms, most recently with Ori and the Will of the Wisps on Nintendo Switch. Spencer does mention in the same interview that he doesn’t see that strategy as sustainable, however.
Elsewhere in the interview Phil Spencer shares his thoughts on the differences between the Xbox Series X and Series S, saying that he believes the latter will eventually be the best-seller during this coming generation. The Xbox Series X and Series S launch on November 10.
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