Deathloop and Ghostwire are safe, but Xbox holds all the cards on future Bethesda exclusivity

Cal Jeffrey

Posts: 2,631   +614
Staff member
Editor's take: Microsoft's pending acquisition of Bethesda's parent company ZeniMax has many wondering about the fate of already announced big-name titles expected to be coming to the PlayStation 5. Phil Spencer says that while Xbox will honor Bethesda's commitment to timed PS5 exclusivity on Deathloop and Ghostwire: Tokyo, uncommitted titles will be considered on a "case-by-case basis." This likely means PlayStation 5 owners will not see huge console sellers like the forthcoming The Elder Scrolls VI any time soon, if at all.

This morning Microsoft announced that it is about to close a $7.5 billion deal to acquire ZeniMax. This pick up is huge for the Redmond tech giant as it places several high-profile gaming franchises from the likes of Bethesda, id Software, and MachineGames in its Xbox stable.

Must-have exclusive content is the one thing the Xbox Series X has been lacking, especially with the delay of Halo Infinite. Now the company has the potential to rope in customers with Xbox exclusivity on big AAA titles such as The Elder Scrolls, Doom, and the Wolfenstein series. It's a move that has long term implications, but even in the short term could work to sell Microsoft's consoles.

In a Monday interview with Bloomberg's Dina Bass, Xbox head Phil Spencer said that as far as exclusivity deals are concerned, the company will look at it on a "case-by-case basis." He added that Microsoft intends to honor the timed exclusivity obligations Bethesda has with Sony for the PlayStation 5 games, Ghostwire: Tokyo and Deathloop.

Spencer also mentioned that the ZeniMax deal has effectively doubled its potential gaming content.

"Content is just foundational to what we do, and with this move, we double the number of content creators we have inside of Xbox," the Xbox chief said.

The move is also likely to be a blow to the PlayStation 5 in the current battle for console supremacy. Sony seemed to be holding an advantage last week when it matched Microsoft's pricepoint for its next-gen console. It spurred a pre-order buying blitz that has systems sold out in a matter of hours.

However, the feeding frenzy had Microsoft's rival apologizing for not having enough consoles to go around and promising more in the coming days and weeks. The shortfalls also fed into fears that a PS5 shortage is on the horizon—claims that Sony has denied, but an analysis of initial GameStop allotments seemed to confirm.

It just goes to show that if you are on the fence about which system to purchase, anything can change in a matter of days, so you might want to hold on a bit longer. It's unlikely Microsoft's move will go unanswered.

Image credit: Joseph GTK

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DZillaXx

Posts: 106   +157
Playstation is gonna outsell Xbox.

Microsoft, for whatever reasons (all of them I can name) can't beat Sony's market penetration and fanbase.

fortunately, I'm PC Master Race and I can disconnect my emotions from Xbox vs. PS.

After the 360 no one would have expected Xbox One Sales to do so poorly. It was by far the leading console of its generation.

IMO the biggest factor here will be how many units each company can crank out in a short amount of time.

MS has a clear advantage in pricing with the ability to get the console for $25/m (S) or $35/M (X) for 24months with gamepass ultimate. Which actually ends up costing you less in the long run. This is what I'm going to be doing myself. No upfront cost. And will get the PS5 disc version in the future, as the launch lineup is meh. Spiderman already looked good on my PS4, and I see no reason why this next installment won't. The only title I can't wait to play, Ratchet and clank, doesn't even come out till sometime in 2021.

I wouldn't doubt MS has more overall consoles ready to get delivered into consumer hands than Sony.

Also Xbox being the most powerful console there are plenty of people out there that will want it for 3rd party games alone.

Sony will sell all of their stock upon launch, that I have no doubt. I think the only thing that will slow PS5 sales in the first year will be supply. The Demand is there. And when the supply can't keep up people look to other options. Xbox is clearly going to be doing well this holiday season. But we really don't know how MS's supply chain is doing compared to Sony's. This is a company that clearly has no problem spending large sums of money. MS is heavily dedicated to the Xbox brand.
 
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Digitalzone

Posts: 142   +78
MS wouldn't buy Zenimax if not for GamePass and Xbox brand. There will be full or timed exclusivity, they will also make sure the games will run visibly better on stronger Series X (compared to PS5).
 
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Vulcanproject

Posts: 1,271   +2,121
Aside from the infighting between console children all I want is Microsoft to bring better QA to Bethesda studio titles.

They are the buggiest and lowest quality 'Triple A' games usually released. Don't let them release another Fallout or Elder Scrolls game without a ground up new engine either please....
 
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Heavens

Posts: 9   +5
Aside from the infighting between console children all I want is Microsoft to bring better QA to Bethesda studio titles.

They are the buggiest and lowest quality 'Triple A' games usually released. Don't let them release another Fallout or Elder Scrolls game without a ground up new engine either please....
Well if it's open for mods the community is usually pretty quick with fixing it and some stuff can be fixed via console commands.

I just hope they put a bit more intricate character development stuff into the next TES, Skyrim felt a bit lackluster compared to Morrowind and Oblivion.
 

fps4ever

Posts: 555   +635
Exactly. They're pushing software sales here. Also selling on PS5 is probably going to be more profitable here than trying to gate it.
I seriously doubt it. If anything they will release it later on PS5. No way would they allow a simultaneous release on both consoles and take sales away from XBox. Especially owning the developer company now.
 

Cal Jeffrey

Posts: 2,631   +614
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"The Elder Scrolls VI on PlayStation 5 is probably a 'nope'"


..probably because Playstation 6 will be out before its ready.
ROFL Right?

I seriously doubt it. If anything they will release it later on PS5. No way would they allow a simultaneous release on both consoles and take sales away from XBox. Especially owning the developer company now.
Agreed. I mean I could be wrong. M$ might just roll over and say, " Here Sony. Have these console-selling titles because we want our subsidiary to profit off of your players too." But I doubt it. What is more likely is M$ is going to make games like TES VI Xbox exclusive indefinitely. Down the road, after Xbox sales have begun to peter out, it may release it to PS5 to cash grab that market. Best case scenario they make it a one-year timed exclusive, but I won't even hold my breath for that.

I get the feeling, especially after Phil Spencer's interview, that Microsoft is going to use this opportunity to put the screws to Sony.
 

m4a4

Posts: 2,042   +1,927
TechSpot Elite
I seriously doubt it. If anything they will release it later on PS5. No way would they allow a simultaneous release on both consoles and take sales away from XBox. Especially owning the developer company now.
Hmmmm, I see my intention wasn't terribly clear. I'm not saying that they'll commit to launching it at the same time, just that I doubt they'll never release on the PS (and Nintendo) platform (because money).
 

fps4ever

Posts: 555   +635
Hmmmm, I see my intention wasn't terribly clear. I'm not saying that they'll commit to launching it at the same time, just that I doubt they'll never release on the PS (and Nintendo) platform (because money).
By that time sales of the game on PS5 will be negligent to the bottom line but it will be nice for PS5 gamers.