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Xbox Head Phil Spencer Says Bethesda Purchase Was Made to Deliver Exclusives to Game Pass

Xbox, Microsoft, Phil Spencer, Game Pass, Bethesda, Doom, Elder Scrolls,

Xbox head Phil Spencer has clarified what Microsoft’s ZeniMax Media and Bethesda purchase means for Xbox-exclusive titles. Spencer spoke on the matter during the “Bethesda Joins Xbox – Roundtable” discussion video today. Though his explanation doesn’t explicitly list which games will be exclusives, it does shed light on how gaming will progress for Xbox and Game Pass users moving forward where Bethesda is concerned.

“So, obviously, I can’t sit here and say every Bethesda game is exclusive because we know that’s not true,” Spencer said. “There’s contractual obligations that we’re going to see through, as we always do in every one of these instances. We have games that exist on other platforms, and we’re going to go support those games on the platforms they’re on. There’s communities of players, we love those communities, and we’ll continue to invest in them.”

The contractual obligations Spencer refers to include games such as Deathloop and Ghostwire: Tokyo, which will remain timed-exclusive titles for PlayStation players until later coming to other platforms. When he mentions “games that exist on other platforms,” he’s likely referring to MMO and live-service titles, such as The Elder Scrolls Online or Fallout 76. So, if you’re a PlayStation player already invested in the content those games provide, Spencer suggests that you won’t have to worry about Microsoft pulling the plug. However, he continues to suggest that there will be many Bethesda titles exclusive for Game Pass users.

“And even in the future, there might be things that have either contractual things or legacy on different platforms that we’ll go do,” Spencer added. “But for an Xbox customer, the thing I want you to know is this is about delivering great exclusive games for you that ship on platforms where Game Pass exists. And that’s our goal. That’s why we’re doing this. That’s the root of this partnership that we’re building, and the creative capability we will be able to bring to market for our Xbox customers is going to be the best it’s ever been for Xbox after we’re done here.”

Spencer’s comments clear the air for those curious to see if Bethesda games will come to other platforms. For now, if you’re looking forward to new entries from Doom, The Elder Scrolls, Prey, or Dishonored, or if you’re just excited to see what games like Starfield will be like, it sounds like you’ll want to invest in a platform that supports Game Pass.

Elsewhere in the roundtable chat, Spencer spoke on other ways the Bethesda acquisition could benefit all of Xbox. For example, he mentioned his excitement regarding Doom developer id Software’s id Tech engine: “I just think about that to the next level, like — what can we do inside of our organization with id Tech, which is one of the world’s best game engines out there, and just make it a tool that so many developers can use to realize their vision?”

You can watch the entire Xbox and Bethesda discussion in the video below.

About the author

Michael Cripe
Michael joined The Escapist team in 2019 but has been covering games, movies, TV, and music since 2015. When he’s not writing, Michael is probably playing Super Mario Sunshine, Dead Space, The Binding of Isaac, or Doom Eternal. You can follow his news coverage and reviews at The Escapist, but his work has appeared on other sites like OnlySP, Gameranx, and Kansas City’s The Pitch, too. If you’d like to connect and talk about the latest pop-culture news, you can follow Michael on Twitter (@MikeCripe), Instagram (mike_cripe), or LinkedIn if that’s your thing.