Since Microsoft purchased Bethesda Softworks (via parent company ZeniMax Media) last September, the question of Bethesda games on non-Xbox consoles has been on everyone’s minds. This week, Microsoft put probably the final nail in that conversational coffin, with Xbox chief Phil Spencer confirming in an interview with British GQ magazine that the upcoming Elder Scrolls VI will be available only on Xbox consoles and the PC.
In a quote that doesn’t seem likely to soothe many PlayStation owners, Spencer said the exclusivity is “not about punishing any other platform, like I fundamentally believe all of the platforms can continue to grow.” Instead, Spencer was focused on “be[ing] able to bring the full complete package of what we have” with the company’s games, meaning integration with Xbox Live, Game Pass, Xbox Cloud Gaming, etc. “And that would be true when I think about Elder Scrolls VI,” he added. “That would be true when I think about any of our franchises.”
An announcement 14 months in the making
The confirmation ends over a year of coyness and mealymouthed statements about the exclusivity of major Bethesda games. The ordeal started with a Bloomberg interview last September in which Spencer said future Bethesda titles would be considered for non-Xbox consoles “on a case-by-case basis.” An in November, Xbox CFO Tim Stuart was saying publicly that Microsoft wanted Bethesda content to be “first or better or best” on Xbox rather than necessarily exclusive to the platform.