One of the main motives for ZeniMax’s purchase of Bethesda’s parent company, Microsoft, has been made clear by Xbox head Phil Spencer: potential Starfield PlayStation exclusivity. Speaking today at the FTC v. Microsoft hearing, Microsoft claimed that Sony regularly pays rivals to “skip our platform” and that in order to compete, the company needed to own Bethesda.
ZeniMax Media, the parent company of Elder Scrolls and Fallout studio Bethesda Softworks, was purchased by Microsoft for $7.5 billion. Microsoft promised Xbox and PC exclusives at the conclusion of the deal, and so far Redfall has been released, with Starfield scheduled to launch on September 6th. The upcoming Indiana Jones game from Bethesda is only available on Xbox and PC.
“When we acquired ZeniMax one of the impetus for that is that Sony had done a deal forDeathloopandGhostwire… to pay Bethesda to not ship those games on Xbox,” said Spencer. “So the discussion aboutStarfieldwhen we heard thatStarfieldwas potentially also going to end up skipping Xbox, we can’t be in a position as a third-place console where we fall further behind on our content ownership so we’ve had to secure content to remain viable in the business.” cited by The Verge
Elder Scrolls VI
During the testimony, Spencer chose not to provide a definitive answer regarding the exclusivity of Elder Scrolls VI. Although Spencer had previously suggested that the game might be an Xbox exclusive, it is still years away from release.