News regarding Microsoft’s acquisition of Bethesda parent company ZeniMax Media ushered in a wave of intrigue and confusion. Thankfully, there’s now more clarity with respect to previously inked exclusivity deals and future game releases. Firstly, Microsoft does intend to honor Bethesda’s existing deals with PlayStation, which grant PS5 timed exclusivity for Arkane Lyon’s Deathloop and Tango’s Ghostwire: Tokyo. It’s additionally been confirmed that future releases from Bethesda Softworks will hit “other consoles on a case-by-case basis.”
Xbox Head Phil Spencer confirmed as much in speaking with Bloomberg on the matter. Honoring Bethesda’s preexisting deal with PlayStation means both Deathloop and Ghostwire: Tokyo will land on the PlayStation 5 in 2021 ahead of an Xbox release.
Meanwhile, future projects such as Starfield and the next Wolfenstein are expected to roll out across the PC, Xbox consoles, and Xbox Game Pass. With regards to multiplatform releases, Spencer told Bloomberg, “We’ll take other consoles on a case-by-case basis.” With the purchase not even completed yet (expected to complete mid-2021), it’s likely many of these details haven’t even been entirely worked out yet. Regardless of what the future holds, though, Bethesda’s Senior Vice President of PR and Marketing, Pete Hines, has divulged that Bethesda Softworks will continue to self-publish its own various projects.
This all serves as a big move for Microsoft Game Studios, which has continuously expanded in recent years. The ZeniMax acquisition adds approximately 2,300 developers to the Xbox family, along with the following entities and their respective properties: Bethesda Softworks, Bethesda Game Studios, id Software, ZeniMax Online Studios, Arkane Studios, MachineGames, Tango Gameworks, Alpha Dog, and Roundhouse Studios. Many fans have also noted that it reunites Obsidian and Bethesda under the same umbrella, creating a lot of speculation about Fallout: New Vegas 2.
Fans and pundits are especially taking note of the shrewd timing of such an announcement, since preorders for Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S officially open tomorrow.