The video games industry is just barely recovering from the massive news of Microsoft buying ZeniMax Media last month. Since then, there have been fears that games that Bethesda publish will be exclusive to the Xbox or PC. And it looks like if Microsoft really wanted to, it can afford to do so.
In an interview, Kotaku asked Xbox head Phil Spencer if the company can make the US$7.5 billion it spend buying ZeniuMax media without selling The Elder Scrolls VI on PlayStation. Spencer immediately said “yes”. After a pause, he then elaborated that, just by putting Bethesda games on platforms the company supports like Xbox, its Game Pass, PC, and the xCloud streaming service, the deal will work in the company’s favour.
That’s some major posturing, to be sure. And as close to saying Bethesda games will be exclusive to Xbox, xCloud and PC without uttering those exact words. And it looks like it may already be happening.
Earlier in the month, Bethesda released to game compilations, Wolfenstein: Alt History Collection and Dishonored & Prey: The Arkane Collection. Both collections are available on current gen consoles. For next generation consoles though, the US Entertainment Software Ratings Board (ESRB) lists both collections for the Xbox Series X and S, but not the PS5. A Bethesda spokesperson said that both collections will play on the PS5 via backwards compatibility.
While nothing is quite set in stone, this should be a sign for things to come for the next-generation. So even if Xbox says Bethesda games will be on the PS5, don’t be surprised if the opposite ends up being true.