We all knew it was coming but with the final announcement that Microsoft’s acquisition of Zenimax – parent company of Bethesda – Phil Spencer has confirmed many PlayStation players worst fears.
Bethesda and its associated properties are now part of the Xbox ecosystem and it means that many new games from the famed developer won’t be reaching PlayStation consoles. Not unless Sony has a massive change of heart, at least.
Phil Spencer sat down with some of his colleagues to discuss the future of Xbox and Bethesda, dropping the (expected) bombshell that most future Bethesda games will be shipping on platforms “where Game Pass exists.”
So… not PS5 or PS4.
“If you’re an Xbox customer, the thing I want you to know is that this is about delivering great exclusive games for you that ship on platforms where Game Pass exists,” Spencer said. “That’s our goal, that’s why we’re doing this, that’s the root of this partnership that we’re building.”
And it makes sense. Microsoft paid a pretty penny and it would be silly to not leverage the assets it now owns. That’s not to say that every single future Bethesda game will be Xbox exclusive; previously announced games and their exclusivity deals will be honoured, like Deathloop which will release first on PS5. But, it’s likely that PlayStation gamers will look on in envy over the next few years as their Xbox brethren enjoy the fruits of Microsoft’s purchase.
Still, we’re getting some Bethesda games in the near future, like Doom 3 for PSVR, as well as Deathloop.
“There are contractual obligations that we’re going to see through, as we always do in every one of these instances,” Spencer said. “We have games that exist on other platforms, and we’re gonna go support those games on the platforms they’re on. There are communities of players and we love those communities and we’ll continue to invest in them. And even in the future, there might be things that have contractual things or legacy on different platforms that we’ll go do.”
So unless Sony lets Microsoft put a Game Pass streaming app on PS4 and PS5 (not a chance) you’ll have to suck it up and get an Xbox or a PC to play the majority of future Bethesda games.