Phil Spencer seems very confident in the deal with Bethesda and the future of Xbox. Speaking in an interview with Kotaku, Spencer was asked some very pointed questions about the topic of exclusivity. The question was centered around The Elder Scrolls VI, though the answer can be applied to plenty of other future games.
Specifically, the head of Xbox was asked if there was a chance that The Elder Scrolls VI would be exclusive to Xbox and PC, or whether it would jump to other platforms. The point here is finding out how Xbox and Microsoft plan to remake that $7.5 billion from buying Bethesda this year. It would seem likely that Microsoft would have to get the game onto PlayStation consoles to make that much of an impact in sales, Spender thinks otherwise, saying: “Yes,” but also adding “I don’t want to be flip about that. This deal was not done to take games away from another player base like that. Nowhere in the documentation that we put together was: ‘How do we keep other players from playing these games?’ We want more people to be able to play games, not fewer people to be able to go play games.”
It will still be some time before we see any news on the big Bethesda projects though, so don’t hold your breath. Both major titles, The Elder Scrolls 6 or Starfield, won’t have any news this year. And it’s very likely we won’t get a formal reveal into late 2021 at the earliest. Both titles are still very early in production.
“But I’ll also say in the model,” he continued “When I think about where people are going to be playing and the number of devices that we had, and we 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.”
So there you have it, that’s not a confirmation, but it does reveal that Microsoft thinks very highly of their market saturation for Xbox and PC. So it at least seems likely that The Elder Scrolls VI will remain in that ecosystem. Though it doesn’t rule out the possibility of future Bethesda games breaking from that model, there’s a chance Microsoft and Xbox can make some key moves here.