The head of Xbox, Phil Spencer, clarified the position of the Microsoft on the possibility of making available the games developed by its newly acquired Bethesda for other platforms, namely for the PlayStation 5, stating that the company does not need to take games like Elder Scrolls VI to other platforms to make a profit.
The news comes as a change from previous statements in which Spencer stated that Bethesda’s launches outside the Xbox ecosystem would be considered on a case-by-case basis. Of course, there is much more to this comment than meets the eye.
Xbox has been collaborating particularly with rival hardware manufacturers in recent months. The deals between Microsoft and Nintendo led to previous Xbox exclusives, like Ori, for the Switch platform, while a recent crossover made Steve, from Minecraft, available in Super Smash Bros Ultimate. Despite things apparently flourishing between these two companies, things have been less clear about PlayStation, as their fans would like to know if they will be able to play games like Fallout, DOOM and The Elder Scrolls on their new consoles.
Speaking to Kotaku folks, Spencer reiterated that Microsoft did not acquire Bethesda simply as a means of preventing players from accessing the content. However, he firmly stated that Microsoft is not under pressure to deliver a game like The Elder Scrolls VI to PlayStation 5 owners in order to make the company’s acquisition work financially. When asked exactly about this, Spencer quickly clarified his position on how Bethesda will fit into his new role at Xbox Game Studios.
“I don’t want to turn this over. This deal was not made to take games from another player base like that. Nowhere in the documentation did we gather: ‘How do we prevent other players from playing these games?’ We want more people to be able to play, not less people to be able to play. But I’ll also say in the model – I’m just answering your question directly – when I think about where people are going to play and the number of devices we had, and we have xCloud, PC and Game Pass and our console base, I don’t have to send these games on any platform other than the platforms we support, to make the business work for us. Whatever that means. ”
Phil Spencer has no interest in making Bethesda games available on PlayStation 5
It looks like Spencer is still tiptoeing around details on the subject, but he is also very firm in his belief that Bethesda games can remain unique to the Xbox ecosystem and still generate revenue strong enough to make the acquisition make sense to Microsoft. Enter consoles, PC and xCloud, profitability is lower in the sale of individual games and more in the subscription service in the Netflix style, which is the Xbox Game Pass. Of course, if Sony adopted Microsoft’s gaming service, perhaps PlayStation fans would not be left wondering if they would be without Bethesda games.
Spencer clarified in the past that Microsoft is not able to bring the full Xbox Game Pass experience to other platforms and therefore they are unlikely to make that leap. This probably stems from both the need to move the hardware and the problems that various licenses have in the service – which is also exactly why Xbox Game Pass for PC is a separate service. Perhaps something can be resolved in the future, but it seems that Microsoft is not so concerned with bringing anything beyond Bethesda’s promised Deathloop and GhostWire: Tokyo to PlayStation 5, at least for now. Only sales will tell.
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