Microsoft Has Indicated That the Elder Scrolls 6 Will Be Xbox Exclusive: Legal actions to support Microsoft’s bid to purchase Activision Blizzard are underway. In reaction to the statement made by the UK market regulator about the acquisition, the publisher argues that it makes more financial sense to develop a “mid-sized” game like the next Elder Scrolls VI exclusive, and that Call of Duty is too lucrative to move away from PlayStation.
Microsoft is, indeed, once more at pains to justify why it doesn’t care when a game sells millions of copies. Really. Microsoft is trying to force this $70 billion transaction through regulatory bodies throughout the world, so you shouldn’t worry about The Elder Scrolls VI or Starfield coming out soon.
At the time of writing, you may still purchase titles published by ZeniMax and Bethesda that were released before the acquisition via the PlayStation shop. As per the terms of their agreements with ZeniMax, Sony was required to develop Deathloop and Ghostwire: Tokyo for the PlayStation.
The future of unreleased games is unclear. The 2023 releases of Redfall and Starfield are intended as Xbox and PC-only titles. This begs the question, how exactly does Xbox choose which titles to port over to PlayStation consoles? A useful chart is available from Microsoft.
First, there is a lower chance of platform exclusivity for games that support cross-play. Microsoft has since classified games as either “niche,” “new IP,” or “mass market” depending on their intended target demographic. It is expected that fresh intellectual properties with unknown audiences would have the highest console exclusivity value, while mass market and niche titles will have the least.
In my opinion, Microsoft’s claim that Starfield’s following is “committed” rather than generally appealing is a bit dishonest, given that the game is a new intellectual property. And despite its 13 million players, Fallout 76 is considered a niche game. That the publisher would make such a bold assertion, though, is hardly unprecedented.
Only two months ago, it questioned whether or not Call of Duty was a necessary video game franchise. Now it’s coming clean about the fact that Call of Duty doesn’t have a player base on par with its previous AAA releases.
Further, Microsoft appears to be suggesting that making Elder Scrolls VI an Xbox and PC exclusive will not materially affect Sony, which strongly implies that the future game would most likely be bypassing PlayStation.
This article claims that Elder Scrolls isn’t as popular as Minecraft or Call of Duty, two games that will continue to be accessible on the PlayStation, by burying a comment about it inside a section on “mid-sized games.” The firm argues that it isn’t “disenfranchising” PlayStation gamers by not releasing the game on the console, and they back up their argument by pointing out that the previous Elder Scrolls game came out in 2011.
Kotaku asked Xbox to find out if Elder Scrolls VI will be a platform exclusive, but had not heard back at the time of publishing.
For those who love the Elder Scrolls series, this news must be terrible. In the meanwhile, though, I’m having a great time giggling at the mental flips Microsoft is demanding of government officials.