As the massive news of Microsoft acquiring Bethesda's parent company broke, some players were concerned this means the end of games like Fallout and DOOM on PlayStation. It seems they may be right to worry.
In an interview on The Game Informer Show last summer, head of Xbox Game Studios Matt Booty told host Ben Hanson (now of MinnMax) that his team views The Outer Worlds as an "enduring franchise" that would likely be the sort of game Microsoft keeps exclusive to Xbox and PC with any future sequels. While other games, Booty explained, would suit a multiplatform launch, such as what we've seen with Minecraft and the second-party Ori series hitting Switch, The Outer Worlds is not such an example.
"I think the question is less binary about, 'should it be on Switch?' 'Should it be on PlayStation?' And more 'Does it make sense for the franchise? In other words, is it a kind of game that would benefit from the network effect of being on a bunch of different platforms or is it a game where we can best support it by putting resources and making sure that our platform - things like xCloud and Game Pass and Xbox Live - are really leaning in to support the game?"
Booty continued to stress that the team will maintain its "big franchises like Forza, and Halo, and Sea of Thieves" and that "those games are designed from the outset to exist on Xbox." Booty called The Outer Worlds such a franchise as well.
While he couldn't have had the foresight of a Bethesda deal that would occur 13 months later, it's hard to imagine how the Xbox team would view a single-player story-driven game likeThe Outer Worlds 2 a platform exclusive, but not things like The Elder Scrolls, Fallout, or DOOM, for example. This should also mean games such as The Elder Scrolls Online remain multiplatform (edit: the ESO team has now confirmed it will remain multiplatform, as expected).
You can listen to the whole interview here, with these specific excerpts starting around the two hours and 20 minutes mark.
We know from the press release today that Xbox intends to bring Bethesda games to Game Pass on their launch days, just like it does with all its first-party games, so the deal should already mean a big boost to Xbox player counts as well as Game Pass subscribers, which Xbox also recently revealed has now surpassed 15 million total subscribers.
PlayStation 5 will be the timed-exclusive home to Arkane's Deathloop when it launches next year due to a deal that was already in place before the Microsoft acquisition. But as for whether PS5 players may be able to play The Elder Scrolls VI or Starfield? Fus ro don't bet on it.