We don’t think it gets much clearer than this. After Xbox head Phil Spencer stated that “some” future Bethesda titles would be exclusive to Xbox Series X|S and PC, the man leading the team in green has now clarified that this essentially means the publisher’s entire line-up. Revealed as part of a roundtable discussion between Microsoft and Bethesda leads, Spencer said titles from each of the eight studios it has now acquired will ship “where Game Pass exists”. Not on any PlayStation consoles then, essentially.
The full quote is as follows: “If you’re an xbox customer, the thing I want you to know is that this is about delivering great exclusive games to you that ship on platforms where Game Pass exists.” Prior to that, Phil Spencer once again confirms Microsoft will honour any pre-existing deals, such as Sony’s timed exclusivity contracts for Deathloop and Ghostwire: Tokyo. Microsoft may also do things on other platforms where a franchise’s “legacy” is a large factor, but we’re honestly struggling to think of any Bethesda franchises that are heavily linked to PlayStation. Sure, the games have launched on PS4 and PS3 in the past, but previous deals have usually involved Microsoft. DLC for The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim came to Xbox 360 first, for example.
I’m going to try to be as clear as I can because that’s what I, I just think it’s fair. So obviously I can’t sit here and say every Bethesda game is exclusive because we know that’s not true. There’s contractual obligations that we’re going to see through as we always do in every one of these instances. We have games that exist on other platforms and we’re going to go support those games on the platforms they’re on. There are communities of players. We love those communities and we’ll continue to invest in them. And even in the future, there might be things that have either contractual things or a legacy on different platforms that we’ll go do.
But if you’re an Xbox customer the thing I want you to know is this is about delivering great exclusive games for you that ship on platforms where Game Pass exists and that’s our goal. That’s why we’re doing this. That’s the root of this partnership that we’re building and the creative capability we will be able to bring to market for our Xbox customers, it is going to be the best it’s ever been for Xbox after we’re done here.
The likes of Fallout 76 and The Elder Scrolls Online will continue to receive support from Bethesda on PlayStation consoles, but this latest quote really does seem like the final nail in the coffin. Upcoming games from Bethesda will release where Game Pass exists, and unless Sony suddenly allows Microsoft to bring the service to PS5 and PS4, then you’ll need an Xbox Series X|S or PC to experience future titles from the publisher.