According to court documents, Microsoft forecasted Starfield and Indiana Jones to sell 10 million copies on PS5 before the games were made Xbox and PC exclusives. This forecast was an attempt to evaluate the impact of making Bethesda and ZeniMax titles console exclusives, presumably to gauge how multi-platform releases for these games would perform compared to limiting them to Xbox.
Xbox CFO Tim Stuart testified that Microsoft’s forecast saw a total of 10 million copies sold on PS5 for both Starfield and MachineGames’ Indiana Jones combined. While the Indiana Jones IP doesn’t have the same power and impact as it once did, it’s entirely possible that PS5 players would’ve flocked to purchase Starfield in the millions seeing as it’s coming from Bethesda Game Studios, which previously saw plenty of success through its PlayStation versions of Fallout 4, Skyrim and more.
The document talking about Starfield and Indiana Jones PS5 sales reads:
“Microsoft believed it could offset losses incurred from taking ZeniMax games exclusive through upside to Game Pass and increased console sales. Mr. Stuart testified that Microsoft needed fewer dollars in the short term to make up for the financial impact of exclusivity of ZeniMax games on Microsoft.”
Microsoft believed it could recoup any potential losses from making these games exclusive through Xbox Game Pass subscriptions and extra Xbox console sales. The community believes that Microsoft put itself in a tricky situation by limiting the amount of potential platforms for Bethesda’s anticipated titles – something that even Bethesda’s VP Pete Hines agrees with.
Only time will tell if Microsoft’s decision to keep Starfield and Indiana Jones as exclusives actually pays off in the long run. If Starfield manages to be a critical success, that could drive more players to subscribe to Game Pass which Xbox is banking on. If it fails, Microsoft may have to re-evaluate whether future Bethesda games, including The Elder Scrolls 6, will be made available on other platforms.
Source: PlayStation LifeStyle