Earlier this year, Microsoft made a wave with the purchase of Bethesda for $ 7.5 billion, the company behind Elder Scrolls, Wolfenstein, Dishonored, Doom and many other huge franchises. It has not been clear since then whether Bethesda’s future titles outside of Deathloop and Ghostwire: Tokyo (both announced as exclusive to the PS5 before the deal) will be exclusive to Xbox consoles. Now, some new comments from Xbox CEO Tim Stewart give us an even better idea of the thought process behind this purchase – and it’s not necessarily about exclusives, it̵
Speaking at the Jefferies Interactive Entertainment Virtual Conference, which was transcribed by Seeking Alpha (and then taken over by Gematsu), Stewart spoke about the purchase of Bethesda and how it fits into their larger plans. Stewart said that they “strongly promote the game on different platforms” and that it is better for them if they all succeed: “the classic tide rises on all boats,” he said.
Stewart embarks on some long-term plans and says “we don’t intend to just take out all of Bethesda’s content from Sony or Nintendo or otherwise.” However, even if these games come in other systems, he believes they will be the best – and sometimes arrive early – on Microsoft platforms. “What we want is that we want this content, in the long run, to be either first, or better, or best, or to choose your differentiated experience on our platforms,” he says. “We want Bethesda’s content to be best displayed on our platforms.”
He says “it’s not important to be exclusive” or to have an adjusted content roadmap compared to the competition. “But if you’re thinking about something like a Game Pass, if it’s performing best in a Game Pass, that’s what we want to see, and we want to get our Game Pass subscriber base through this Bethesda pipeline,” says Stewart.
“So again, I’m not announcing the download of content from the platforms in one way or another,” he continued. “But I suspect you will continue to see us focus on the first or better or best approach on our platforms.”
As this purchase will be finalized by 2021, Microsoft and Xbox staff are currently limited in what they can say about future plans – more details are likely to come out in the new year.
Earlier, Bethesda’s Todd Howard said it was “hard to imagine” Elder Scrolls VI being an exclusive Xbox – and now it sounds like it may not be. Microsoft also suggested that this purchase was not related to exclusive games and Microsoft is thought to be interested in Bethesda’s Orion streaming technology.
Xbox Series X / S are available now. See the GameSpot coverage for new Microsoft machines below: