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Are Bethesda Games Xbox Exclusives?

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BY September 22, 2020
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A lot of questions right now about the ZeniMax acquisition revolve around Bethesda games and titles. For what it’s worth, Bethesda is in control of the two largest IPs in the deal. Both Fallout and The Elder Scrolls, two billion dollar game series, are going to be a hot commodity in the new console generation. If Microsoft keeps these exclusive to Xbox, then Xbox could really be in the driver’s seat right now. There’s a sense that they might not want to do that, however. Here’s the latest on whether or not Bethesda games are Xbox exclusives moving forward.

Bethesda Games Becoming Xbox Exclusives? It Might Depend

game-img Image Credit: Bethesda Game Studio

The Bethesda and ZeniMax Media Microsoft acquisition shook the gaming world in every way. We’re now seeing popular IPs like Dishonored and DOOM under the Xbox Game Studios umbrella. Does this mean they’ll be Xbox exclusives? Right now, head of Xbox Phil Spencer says it will be a case-by-case basis. It’s alarming to think of major titles like The Elder Scrolls becoming Xbox exclusive. I don’t mean alarming in a moral or right-or-wrong way, but it’s a game-changer. There’s a huge cohort of gaming fans who love the games Bethesda publishes or develops. Fallout alone is a huge IP and the new game, which won’t likely arrive for a few years, could be a billion dollar release.

Then, you consider the smaller titles wrapped up in the deal. Games like DOOM are very popular, even if they only appeal to a certain audience. Likewise, titles like Deathloop and Ghostwire: Tokyo are coming to the PS5 first in time-exclusivity. Those deals will still be honored, but could future games from that series become Xbox exclusive? The question everyone is asking is whether or not exclusivity makes the most sense for Microsoft.

What’s The Best Move for Microsoft Following the ZeniMax Media Deal?

Image Credit: Bethesda

In my eyes, you have to take the acquisition you just made and make some money back. Like Sony deciding to reveal Final Fantasy XVI an exclusive in their PS5 showcase, it just happens. If the money made from releasing The Elder Scrolls on all consoles, Sony included, makes more sense, then release it on everything. Microsoft is clearly not looking to sell Xbox consoles in some sort of war with Sony. They’re more concerned with Game Pass. Well, all Bethesda and ZeniMax Media games are coming to Game Pass, and new releases arrive on Day One. That alone is a huge appeal. What really matters to Microsoft is gaming becoming a fluid experience.

From xCloud to Game Pass, Microsoft is competing with other forms of entertainment, not just the gaming industry. If you can play Halo on your phone while taking the train to work, then you’re not watching Netflix or playing mobile games. If you can play the newest Fallout game on Game Pass, then you’re not heading to the store to buy the title from a retailer that takes a chunk of the profits. This is all a ploy to change the way gaming companies make money and games. Whether or not that’s consumer-friendly is yet to be seen. As an Xbox fan, I hope this decision, like the ones that spurred Game Pass and a cheap Xbox Series S console price, are going to keep us in mind first.

Featured Image Credit: Bethesda

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Taylor loves to play video games in his spare time. He has two degrees in Political Communication and wrote his thesis on Marxism and the exploitation of college athletes. In his spare time, he loves spending time with his wife and two Toy Australian Shepherds. He’s always got headphones in, and he’s a diehard Cubs fan.

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