Xbox’s Phil Spencer On Possible Bethesda Exclusivity – “We Want More People” To Play Games, “Not Fewer”
Last month, Microsoft surprised many when it announced the purchase of Fallout and The Elder Scrolls developer Bethesda for $7.5 billion, with fans as well as Xbox themselves still reeling from the epic-scale acquisition. Key personnel from both Microsoft and Bethesda have since expressed a “business as usual” approach for the time being, even while some titles arrive exclusively on rival platforms. However, Xbox boss Phil Spencer recently indicated that multiplatform releases may not always be the company’s approach in the future.
Speaking recently with Kotaku, Spencer addressed Bethesda’s new place under the Xbox umbrella, including the possibility of console exclusives down the line. When asked whether Microsoft’s $7.5 billion investment could be recovered by excluding rivals such as PlayStation, the Xbox boss responded with a simple “yes,” but not without expressing the company’s intent to give more people access to games, rather than fewer. “This deal was not done to take games away from another player base like that,” Phil Spencer said. “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.”
That being said, Phil Spencer also went on to address the possibility of Bethesda exclusivity, expressing that Xbox doesn’t necessarily need multiplatform releases to make its money back – especially with the install base of console, Xbox Game Pass, xCloud streaming, and Windows PC platforms readily at its fingertips. “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,” the Xbox boss added.
Over the past few years, Xbox has continuously touted its priority to get games in as many hands as possible, with the rolling out of Game Pass and xCloud being the biggest contributors to that front. These new comments from Phil Spencer appear to bear the same idea, evidenced by his opposition to taking Bethesda titles away from established player bases. However, Spencer also didn’t shy away from the obvious perks of Microsoft’s high-profile acquisition, as the company could – and most likely will – release numerous exclusive Bethesda titles with an admittedly-high chance of success. With games such as The Elder Scrolls VI and new IP Starfield on the horizon, fans may see such plans come to fruition, but probably not for a few more years.
What do you think? Are you excited or bummed by the recent Phil Spencer comments about Xbox-exclusive Bethesda games? Let us know in the comments below and be sure to follow Don’t Feed the Gamers on Twitter and Facebook to be informed of the latest gaming and entertainment news 24 hours a day! For more headlines recently featured on DFTG, check out these next few news stories:
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Phone-browsing Wikipedia in one hand and clutching his trusty controller in the other, the legendary Eric Hall spreads his wealth of knowledge as a writer for Don't Feed the Gamers. Be sure to catch his biweekly "Throwback Thursday" segment for a nostalgic look at trivia from the past.