Following the announcement that Microsoft is buying Bethesda’s parent company, ZeniMax Media, Xbox boss Phil Spencer opened up the possibility that some of the newly acquired publisher’s future games could become exclusives.
In an interview with Bloomberg, Spencer said that upcoming Bethesda games like its single-player sci-fi RPG Starfield will come to Xbox, PC, and Game Pass. Whether it will also still come to PS5 is now less than certain. “We’ll take other consoles on a case-by-case basis,” Spencer told Bloomberg.
The news of Microsoft’s biggest acquisition yet in the gaming space has brought up a number of questions regarding exclusivity. For example, Bethesda’s parent company also owns Arkane Studios, makers of Deathloop, and Tango Gameworks, which is currently developing GhostWire: Tokyo. Both of those games are set to be timed-console exclusives on PS5, and Spencer told Bloomberg that will remain the case.
The fate of games like Starfield, Elder Scrolls VI, and whatever the next Fallout turns out to be are now up in the air. Bethesda has also recently started porting a number of its games, like Doom and Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus, to the Nintendo Switch. It’s unclear how much of that will continue under the publisher’s new ownership.
Update - 12:18 p.m. ET, 9/21/20: Spencer mentioned exclusivity again in an interview on CNBC today, stating future Bethesda games would come to Game Pass on release day:
The commitments we’ve already made with the gamers out there on the games people know about, we will continue with those commitments. The thing this is really about is a huge investment in our Xbox community. They know that the great games coming from ZeniMax and all of those studios—we’re now over 23 studios inside of Xbox—those games will be able to come to the Xbox community, they’ll come to Game Pass day-and-date, and people will just have this amazing collection of great games to continue to play on Xbox.