This Microsoft and Bethesda buyout has to be one of the most confusing acquisitions in ages. Sure, the company spent over $7.5 billion buying out ZeniMax but every week we hear a different story when it comes to future Bethesda titles and whether or not they will release on PlayStation and Nintendo platforms. First, we heard that Phil Spencer could not imagine Bethesda games on other platforms other than Xbox. Then, he claimed that Microsoft would be able to make the money back they spent on the buyout without releasing games on PS5. However, now it is a different story.
According to Microsoft Xbox CFO Tim Stuart, future Bethesda games won’t be exclusive to the Microsoft platforms. Stuart suspects Microsoft will shift to a “first of better or best approach” on the platform for future game releases. Speaking at the Jeffries Interactive Entertainment Virtual Conference, Stuart said;
Stuart says the whole point of the buyout was not to be exclusive. He says that if Bethesda games show up the best in Game Pass, it helps drive Game Pass subscribers. This contradicts what Phil Spencer said when he claimed that Microsoft could recoup its $7.5 billion purchase without selling Bethesda games on the PlayStation platform.
By the sound of things, Microsoft may adopt a timed-exclusive approach for future Bethesda games. We know all of them will release on Game Pass for no extra cost so players can rent them by keeping an active subscription. However, these future titles may also offer specific content tied to the Microsoft platform.
Right now, don’t take anything you hear from anyone as solid confirmation of Microsoft’s plans. According to Bethesda, Microsoft cannot reveal their real intentions until the acquisition completes in 2021. Until then, this is all back and forth confusion.