MachineGames’ Indiana Jones game has been shrouded in mystery since its reveal in January 2021. And while the game itself is still under wraps, Bethesda Softworks just confirmed that it won’t be coming to PlayStation 4 or PlayStation 5 whenever it releases.
There won’t be any Indiana Jones PlayStation ports
Senior vice president of global marketing and communications at Bethesda Softworks Pete Hines confirmed this at the Federal Trade Commission hearing concerning Microsoft and Activision, as reported by Polygon. Hines said the original agreement with Disney (before Microsoft acquired ZeniMax) had the game coming to multiple platforms. Disney then questioned that portion when Microsoft bought ZeniMax. The contract was later amended to turn the untitled Indiana Jones game into an Xbox console exclusive.
Hines said that Disney wanted the game’s reach to be “as large as possible” and Bethesda wanted to meet that need, but it all changed after the acquisition. Hines said that the idea of how many people Indiana Jones could bring people to Game Pass was part of why the goals shifted.
IGN also reported more on Lucasfilm’s alleged concerns about it being multiplatform. Hines implied Lucasfilm felt that putting the game on multiple consoles would take longer, and Xbox CEO Phil Spencer noted in an email that this extra work wouldn’t “directly benefit the Xbox community in any way.” Hines also said that putting Indiana Jones on Game Pass would reduce risk in the eyes of Lucasfilm and then talked about how the back-and-forth with the licensor can take up valuable time.
“You’re dealing with a licensor who is giving a ton of feedback on what you’re making, is going to add a ton of time to your scheduling, these agreements, you don’t get to take as long as you want, you have a window of time in which you’re going to release a game, you immediately have a clock that’s ticking on you,” said Hines.
Hines also said Bethesda was making an “irresponsibly large game” that benefited the team by being able to support fewer platforms, which is likely referring to Starfield. He said that Bethesda wouldn’t be releasing Starfield in nine weeks if the team had to make the game on another platform since it wouldn’t be able to go through as many rounds of quality assurance. Hines seemingly didn’t bring up how a PS5 version would lead to more sales, but he worked with the angle that fewer platforms means the team can focus more and that can result in an earlier release date.
“Truthfully, we also kind of liked the idea of embracing, bringing it to Game Pass and how many players we could get there,” said Hines.
There have been multiple rumors concerning what platforms Indiana Jones would be on. There were rumblings it was indeed coming to PlayStation, while competing rumors stated the opposite. Given how Bethesda games like Starfield and Redfall are both only on Xbox, it seemed like Indiana Jones was fated to side with Xbox.