Microsoft Is Running Out Of Ways To Say ‘Starfield’ Is An Xbox Exclusive Not Coming To PlayStation


Starfield

Bethesda

We are back in this news cycle again, where PlayStation hopefuls try to read between the lines to glean information that maybe they’re not done seeing Bethesda games on their platform of choice, even after Microsoft’s $7 billion purchase of the developer and all its IPs.

This all started with an interview from Gamespot with Bethesda’s Pete Hines

"There are Xbox brands that exist on other platforms, first and foremost. I think that's important to note. Minecraft didn't just stop existing on anything once Mojang got bought by Xbox," Hines said.

"It's a massively played game on all of these other platforms. It's not a, 'Sorry, you're never going to get to play anything by Bethesda again.' Certainly, there are going to be things that you're not going to be able to play [on PlayStation]…Starfield, it was announced as a thing that's an Xbox exclusive. I don't know if I would go so far as to say you're done ever playing stuff on PlayStation. But again, I don't know the answer to that right now."

In short, Hines is saying he can’t say conclusively whether anyone will never play any Bethesda game on a different console again because I mean, he’s probably not the one in charge of making those decisions. But he rejected the idea that this was somehow a newsworthy statement giving PlayStation hope about future Bethesda titles:

This led to the revival of an old conspiracy theory maybe not just games like Starfield, but Starfield itself might secretly be an Xbox timed exclusive, and would be coming to PlayStation later. But Microsoft’s Aaron Greenberg chimed in to try to be as absolutely clear as he could on this.

Microsoft is in an odd spot right now because their purchase of Bethesda is so fresh. That has created situations like old deals remaining in place, such as Bethesda’s Deathloop about to be released this fall as a timed exclusive on PlayStation. So in that case, that’s one Bethesda game PlayStation fans are certainly getting.

But it’s easy to see how Microsoft’s massive, multi-billion dollar purchase of Bethesda is primarily meant to give them an exclusive roster of IPs, the exact tool they needed to better take on PlayStation and its must-have first party games. It’s why Starfield is Xbox/Game Pass exclusive. It’s why almost certainly Elder Scrolls 6 will be. It’s why most, if not all future Bethesda games will be.

The counter-argument here is that Microsoft is “limiting sales” by keeping Bethesda games off PlayStation, which moved 116 million PS4s and will likely sell at least that many PS5s in the long run, and yet you don’t hear people asking why Sony is limiting sales by not releasing God of War or Horizon Zero Dawn or Ghost of Tsushima on Xbox. Tell Nintendo that they should bring Mario or Zelda games to PS5 and Series X and people will look at you like you’ve lost your mind. I know it’s a different scenario to a point because Bethesda used to be independent, but that’s what $7 billion buys, all the exclusivity Microsoft wants. So, let’s stop doing this dance.

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