An internal Microsoft chat made public has revealed that the Xbox maker flip flopped on releasing Bethesda/ZeniMax games on the PS5.
In the ongoing legal challenge to Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard brought by the Federal Trade Commission, a chat between Microsoft CFO Tim Stuart and Xbox executive Matt Booty revealed that sometime in November 2021, Xbox CEO Phil Spencer decided to make all ZeniMax games exclusive going forward — no exceptions.
Phil Spencer originally said releasing Bethesda/ZeniMax games on PS5 will be decided on a case-by-case basis
After the announcement of ZeniMax’s acquisition, Spencer said on multiple occasions that the status of publisher’s future releases will be decided on a case by case basis. In court this week, Microsoft went on record to say that “many” future ZeniMax games will release on PlayStation platforms. But Spencer had already decided in a November 2021 meeting that this won’t be the case.
“Phil [Spencer] told them all titles going forward, Xbox exclusive,” Booty said to Stuart in a chat. “All games going forward?” Stuart asked. “Not just new IP, but ALL games going forward? Wow.” The two then went on to discuss the negative financial impact of this decision.
When the FTC brought this up in front of Judge Jacqueline Corley during Spencer’s testimony, he claimed that he didn’t remember the specifics of the meeting.