The next game “Elder Scrolls” will be a PC, an Xbox exclusive

of womp-womp department

Almost exactly a year ago, Microsoft acquired Zenimax Media, a parent company of several video game publishers, including Bethesda. When this happened, a significant percentage of the gaming community asked the immediate and obvious question: does this mean that games from Bethesda and others will be Microsoft exclusives? Xbox chief Phil Spencer was the first to weigh in on the issue with total non-response.

“I don’t want to be creepy about this,” he added. “This agreement was not made to take games away from another player base like that. Nowhere in the documentation we gathered was, “How do I stop other gamers from playing these games?” We want more people to be able to play games, not less people to be able to go and play games. But I will also say in the model – I’m just answering the question you had directly – when I think about where people are going to play and how many devices we had, and we have xCloud and PC and Game Pass and our console base, I don’t need to go and ship these games to any platform other than the platforms we support in order to make the deal work for us. Whatever that means.

Whatever that means, indeed. On the one hand, yes, Microsoft had clearly been thinking of bringing new games to Microsoft-centric platforms … but none of that was done to prevent other gamers from playing those games. To anyone paying attention, it looked like exclusives wouldn’t be a thing. Todd Howard of Bethesda made many of the same noises.

But then came Xbox CFO Tim Stuart, whose message was a little less vague but much more concerning.

Speaking at the Jeffries Interactive Entertainment virtual conference last Friday (as transcribed by Seeking Alpha), Stuart said directly that “in the long term … we have no intention of just removing all Bethesda content from Sony. or Nintendo or whatever. But what we want is that we want this content, in the long term, to be either the first or the best or the best or that we choose your differentiated experience, on our platforms. “

“It’s not about being exclusive,” Stuart continued. “It’s not about … adjusting the schedule, the content or the roadmap. But if you think of something like Game Pass, if it looks better in Game Pass, that’s what. we want to see, and we want to drive our game Bring the subscriber base through this Bethesda pipeline. “

Still vague, but less. So no Bethesda exclusives, but maybe timed exclusives, timed releases, or content differences across Microsoft platforms. May be. Sort of? It is all very confusing.

Except no, it isn’t and it turns out everyone was just lying. Because Elder Scrolls VI, a Bethesda title, just announced PC and Xbox exclusive after all. And it’s Phil Spencer who is back to share this bad news.

This week, Microsoft likely put the final nail in that coffin of conversation, with Xbox chief Phil Spencer confirming in an interview with UK magazine GQ that the upcoming Elder Scrolls VI will be available only on Xbox consoles and PC.

In a quote that doesn’t seem likely to appease many PlayStation owners, Spencer said that exclusivity “isn’t about punishing another platform, as I fundamentally believe all platforms can keep going. develop”. Instead, Spencer focused on “being[ing] able to bring the full full package of what we have “with the company’s games, which means integration with Xbox Live, Game Pass, Xbox Cloud Gaming, etc.” And that would be true when I think of Elder Scrolls VI, “he added.” That would be true when I think of one of our franchises. “

Now this erases several things. First, that Microsoft and / or Bethesda simply lied to the public after the acquisition. And, second, that in fact at least some Bethesda titles will in fact be Microsoft exclusives! It’s hard to know for sure, but all of these previous statements strike me as cowardice. And I will say that Tim Stuart should be very pissed off at how peculiar all this makes her look. “We’re not looking to remove Bethesda games from Sony or Nintendo” somehow turned into the exact opposite.

And so on. We have a large gaming hardware maker now buying a game studio that’s released their most famous titles on Sony’s PlayStation in a way that seems to be deliberately trying to trick these PlayStation owners into buying hardware. Microsoft. I sure hope it was all worth it for those who made money from the Bethesda acquisition, as it won’t be good for this studio’s reputation with its most dedicated fans.

Thanks for reading this Techdirt post. With so much competing for attention these days, we really appreciate you giving us your time. We work hard every day to bring quality content to our community.

Techdirt is one of the few media that is still truly independent. We don’t have a giant company behind us, and we rely heavily on our community to support us, at a time when advertisers are less and less interested in sponsoring small independent sites – especially a site like ours that does not want to put his finger on his reports. and analysis.

While other websites have resorted to pay walls, registration requirements, and increasingly annoying / intrusive advertising, we’ve always kept Techdirt open and accessible to everyone. But to continue this way, we need your support. We offer our readers a variety of ways to support us, from direct donations to special subscriptions and cool products – and every little bit counts. Thank you.

–The Techdirt team

Filed Under: ancient scrolls, exclusives, video games, xbox
Companies: bethesda, microsoft

About Dorie Castro

Check Also

How to Stream PC Games to Another Device

(Pocket-lint) – There are various ways to play PC games in your home, the most …