Phil Spencer: Xbox Could Recoup $7.5 Billion Bethesda Acquisition Without Releasing Games on PlayStation

The Elder Scrolls Online: Summerset. Image: Bethesda

Following the news that Microsoft is acquiring Zenimax Media and Bethesda Softworks, many wondered if this meant future Bethesda games would no longer appear on Sony or Nintendo platforms. While Microsoft is committed to honoring previously inked exclusivity deals to competitors, the company could recoup their investment by regardless.

When asked if they could earn back the $7.5 billion to acquire Zenimax and Bethesda even while not selling The Elder Scrolls VI on PlayStation, Xbox boss Phil Spencer plainly said “Yes.” He naturally had a lot to follow that up with, however.

“I don’t want to be flip about that,” he continued in the interview (via Kotaku). “This deal was not done to take games away from another player base like that. Nowhere in the documentation that we put together was, ‘How do we keep other players from playing these games?’ We want more people to be able to play games, not fewer people to be able to go play games.”

He added, “But I’ll also say in the model—I’m just answering directly the question that you had—when I think about where people are going to be playing and the number of devices that we had, and we have xCloud and PC and Game Pass and our console base, I don’t have to go ship those games on any other platform other than the platforms that we support in order to kind of make the deal work for us. Whatever that means.”

Bethesda’s core game studio, Bethesda Game Studios, is working on both Starfield and The Elder Scrolls VI, which are only confirmed for Windows PC. The next console generation confirm for them is probably coming sometime next year, but it’ll be very interesting if Microsoft decides to keep them multi-platform, or make them exclusive to Xbox.

Do you think it would be smart for Microsoft to keep flagship Bethesda games as multi-platform releases, or should they start making them exclusive to Xbox, alongside the expected PC release? Or would they make more by keeping them multi-platform? What about other Bethesda subsidiaries like id Software, and the DOOM franchise? Sound off in the comments below!

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