The Redmond-based tech company has explained why Todd Howard’s new IP, followed by The Elder Scrolls, which hasn’t had a new main title for eleven years, is missing out on PlayStation.
Microsoft now owns ZeniMax Media, the parent company of Bethesda, so the publisher and all its studios and IP are in the hands of Xbox boss Phil Spencer. Activision Blizzard King will not be so quickly snapped up by them (despite ActiBlizz’s communications director’s recent comments that they would fight tooth and nail for Microsoft) because the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is considering an antitrust lawsuit. At the same time, the UK’s CMA and the European Commission have launched a major investigation into the $68.7 billion deal.
We’ve already talked about the Sony and Microsoft document published by the CMA. Still, the latter has an interesting story from the Redmond company on page 57. According to Microsoft, Starfield (Bethesda Game Studios) and Redfall (Arkane Austin) are Xbox-exclusive because they have more excellent exclusivity value, as they are new IPs, often single-player titles, and are chosen by dedicated gamers looking for that experience. On the other hand, Call of Duty is a mass-market game requiring a significant multiplayer community to continue to be successful, so it would make little sense to make it exclusive.
According to Microsoft, The Elder Scrolls is a mid-sized franchise compared to Call of Duty or Minecraft, so it wouldn’t do PlayStation much harm to make The Elder Scrolls VI Xbox-exclusive. The last in the series, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, was released in 2011 (and has been re-released over and over and over again since then…), so it’s not as common on store shelves as Call of Duty, which is released annually (but we’ve heard rumors that they’re looking to stop releasing it annually; that’s what Ubisoft did with Assassin’s Creed).
That is interesting reasoning, but there is a rationale behind it, no doubt…