One of the biggest stories of 2020 in the games sector was the takeover of ZeniMax by Microsoft in September.
ZeniMax is the parent company of popular gaming studios like Bethesda and Id, among many others. The $7.5 billion deal means that franchises like Fallout, Elder Scrolls and Doom are now under the umbrella of Xbox/Microsoft, but this development has left a lot of questions about exclusivity.
Would new games from these studios now become Xbox exclusive and leave the owners of Nintendo Switch and PS4/PS5 out in the cold?
How this deal will affect the gaming landscape in the future is still unclear, but Xbox boss Phil Spencer was asked about the deal in a new interview with Kotaku. The Xbox boss was specifically asked if the company could get back the money spent by not running games like the upcoming The Elder Scrolls VI on PlayStation.
Spencer said they could, but offered a little more to answer the interviewer’s question.
“I don’t want to be snippy about this. This deal was not made to take games from another player base in this way,” Spencer said. “Nowhere in the documentation we put together did it say, ‘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 play games. But I will also say in the model – I’m just answering directly the question you had – when I think about where people will play and how many devices we had, and we have xCloud and PC and Game Pass and our console base, then I don’t have to ship these games on any other platform than the platforms we support in order for the deal to somehow work for us. Whatever that means”.
While Spencer didn’t say directly that these important titles will be available exclusively for the Xbox ecosystem in the future, he pointed out that there are many ways to play Xbox games outside the dedicated home console.
Microsoft supports its titles on the PC and offers them through its Netflix-style Game Pass and through xCloud, the company’s streaming service on Android devices.
Spencer confirmed in an earlier interview that Xbox will commit to Bethesda’s previously announced PS5 Timed exclusive Deathloop and Ghost Wire from Bethesda: Tokyo. These two games will initially be released on PS5, before being released later on Xbox and PC.
In the same interview, Spencer confirmed that the upcoming Starfield will be released on Xbox, PC and Game Pass, but said that all releases on other consoles will be reviewed “on a case-by-case basis.
Fans hoping for answers about how the Xbox will handle future releases of these popular franchises will simply have to wait and see.
In the same Kotaku interview, Spencer also talked about the launch of the Xbox X/S series, its connection to Nintendo and much more.
What do you think about Xbox buying ZeniMax Games Studios? Let us know in the comments section….