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Bethesda Xbox games may be timed exclusives according to new comments from Xbox’s Chief Financial Officer Tim Stuart, adding fuel to the fire for earlier speculation that Microsoft’s acquisition of The Elder Scrolls and Fallout developer would affect multiplatform releases.
Less than two months ago, Microsoft made the earth-shattering announcement that it had purchased Bethesda Softworks, paying more than double the money it spent to acquire Minecraft developer Mojang back in 2014. Xbox Head Phil Spencer had previously stated that Bethesda games will come to other consoles “on a case-by-case basis,” causing some players concern about the future of the PS5. New comments from another Xbox executive have just made things a little more worrying.
Bethesda Xbox games will ‘be either first or better or best,’ exec says
Microsoft didn’t spend more than $5 billion buying Bethesda Softworks for no reason. One executive has explained how it wants to make the best use of that purchase: Bethesda Xbox Games may very well be timed exclusives on the Xbox Series X|S.
“What we’ll do in the long run is we don’t have intentions of just pulling all of Bethesda content out of Sony or Nintendo or otherwise,” Xbox CFO Tim Stuart said at the Jefferies Interactive Entertainment conference last week as reported by VGC.
“But what we want is we want that content, in the long run, to be either first or better or best or pick your differentiated experience, on our platforms,” Stuart added. “We will want Bethesda content to show up the best as — on our platforms.”
Using the word “first” implies that there may be timed exclusivity for Bethesda Xbox Games — this means that PS5 players could miss out on multiplatform launches of the next Fallout or The Elder Scrolls game. Bethesda’s hotly-anticipated Starfield is likely to launch in the next few years, too, and it could very well end up being a timed exclusive on Xbox Series X|S.
Thankfully, Microsoft doesn’t seem keen on entirely removing any Bethesda games from other platforms, even though players on PS5, Nintendo Switch, and Stadia may have to wait a little longer.
“So again, I’m not announcing pulling content from platforms one way or the other,” Stuart clarified. “But I suspect you’ll continue to see us shift towards a first or better or best approach on our platforms.”
The part about Bethesda Xbox games being “better or best” also implies that there may be exclusive content on the platform, whether it’s unique DLC or simply Bethesda leveraging the slight hardware advantage that the Xbox Series X|S has over the PS5. Either way, Bethesda fans getting ready for next-gen gaming will probably want to buy an Xbox Series X|S instead of a PS5.