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Bethesda games don’t have to launch on PlayStation for Microsoft’s $7.5bn deal to pay off, Xbox boss insists

In the scrolls.

Bethesda games don’t have to launch on PlayStation for Microsoft’s $7.5bn acquisition of the company to pay off, Xbox boss Phil Spencer has said.

In an interview with Kotaku’s Stephen Totilo, Spencer was asked whether it was possible to recoup the $7.5bn purchase of Bethesda if Microsoft doesn’t sell The Elder Scrolls 6 on PlayStation consoles.

“Yes,” Spencer replied, before saying Microsoft doesn’t have to ship Bethesda games “on any other platform other than the platforms that we support in order to… make the deal work for us”.

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Here’s Spencer’s reply in full:

“This deal was not done to take games away from another player base like that. Nowhere in the documentation that we put together was: ‘How do we keep other players from playing these games?’ We want more people to be able to play games, not fewer people to be able to go play games.

“But I’ll also say in the model – I’m just answering directly the question that you had – when I think about where people are going to be playing and the number of devices that we had, and we have xCloud and PC and Game Pass and our console base, I don’t have to go ship those games on any other platform other than the platforms that we support in order to kind of make the deal work for us. Whatever that means.”

Ever since Microsoft’s industry-shaking purchase of Bethesda, the company behind the likes of The Elder Scrolls, Fallout and Doom, fans have wondered whether Spencer will ensure new Bethesda games will be PC and Xbox exclusive. It’s a question we debated, among many others, in our recent Eurogamer next-gen news cast, below.

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By not releasing Bethesda games on PlayStation consoles, Microsoft will be leaving millions of dollars on the table. But Spencer’s reply to Kotaku suggests Microsoft is comfortable with that.

The Elder Scrolls 6 is without a release date, and Bethesda has indicated Starfield, the developer’s first original RPG in 25 years, will come out first. All eyes will be on that game to see whether it launches on PlayStation 5 as well as PC and Xbox Series X.

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