Starfield: Confusion mounts over Bethesda’s Xbox exclusivity

Bethesda Softworks
Bethesda Softworks /

Bethesda’s Pete Hines and Xbox’s Aaron Greenberg recently fielded a number of questions during Gamescom and one of the results of their discussion was even more confusion over the prospect Xbox exclusivity when it comes to future Bethesda games.

Microsoft acquired Bethesda last year in a landmark deal worth around $7.5 billion. Concerns that the deal would leave PlayStation gamers out in the cold when it comes to future Bethesda titles were realized when it was confirmed at E3 that Starfield — Bethesda’s highly anticipated sci-fi RPG — is an Xbox Series X (and PC) exclusive.

Would the same be true for The Elder Scrolls VI? Interestingly, Bethesda Game Studios director Todd Howard didn’t give a straightforward answer when asked, leaving many hopeful that the fantasy RPG still has a chance to come to PlayStation.

Coupled with the elusive comments made by Hines and Greenberg at Gamescom recently, and it seems like neither Microsoft nor Bethesda are ready to fully commit to all future Bethesda games being Xbox exclusive. Hines said:

"“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,. 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].”"

And then he brought up Starfield.

"“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.”"

Greenberg’s own waffling around the subject of exclusivity didn’t help either.

Somehow, those quotes turned into speculation that Starfield is not a full-fledged Xbox exclusive, but merely a timed one. The misinterpretation, we’ll call it, was quickly addressed by both Greenberg and Hines on social media.

Some mistakenly applied Hines’ comments about Minecraft to Starfield. He quickly put the put the kibosh on that.

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Really though, it’s not hard to understand what they are saying here. Starfield is an Xbox Series X console exclusive. They haven’t ever said that this is a timed exclusive that will eventually come to PlayStation 5.

As for other Bethesda titles, like The Elder Scrolls VI, they don’t have a solid answer on. It’s possible it may also be an Xbox exclusive. It’s also possible it could release on multiple platforms, like Minecraft currently does. I would imagine that would depend on how well Microsoft and Sony get along.

Given how much Microsoft paid for Bethesda, it would seemingly make the most sense that they keep it an Xbox exclusive. But perhaps its more lucrative for them to sell more copies across multiple platforms, like PlayStation. Crunching those numbers are for people much smarter than me.

dark. Next. Starfield: Bethesda takes us beyond the stars to three new planets

I’m only here to tell you that Starfield is an Xbox exclusive and that we don’t know what the future holds for the rest of Bethesda’s catalog.