Today 20 Bethesda titles are coming to Game Pass as part of Microsoft’s acquisition of Zenimax, which was recently made possible after the approval of the European Union. A finishing touch for users of the Xbox ecosystem in a week with more ups and downs than a roller coaster. After fears of a possible refusal by the EU and the official confirmation of the purchase, the exclusivity of Bethesda games for the future has once again captured the focus of public and press attention
The reality so far
The issue of exclusivity is still curious at a time when the next Bethesda titles, despite being part of Zenimax, and therefore Microsoft, will see the light sooner on PS5 than on Xbox Series X / S. Deathloop, from the parents of Dishonored, Arkane Studios; and Ghostwire Tokyo, from the almighty father of Resident Evil and The Evil Within, Shinji Mikami and his Tango Gameworks, are scheduled to launch on PS5 and PC on May 21, the first and sometime this year the second. The curiosity is that they will not see the light on Xbox until at least a year after its launch on PC and Sony’s console.
This suggests at first that the Redmond people should not be exactly happy with the temporary exclusivity of the games being developed by what are now their studios for the competitor’s console; however, it does not necessarily have to be that way. The temporary exclusivity is not free, and the money paid by Sony means a bigger budget for development of some games that will end up on Xbox. To put it clearly, the downside is the difference between one launch and another, but it has a positive part: it has been paid by the competition with money that goes directly to the coffers of Microsoft’s studios.
I want to make this point clear because sometimes we tend to forget the reality behind all this video games: make money, earn money and get money with which to create more products that are worth money to earn even more money with which to continue making money. This is an important point because it is the pillar on which the industry is based and, with all that video game stuff as art and its social dimension, we tend to ignore the axis that makes all this move: pasta.
Microsoft ‘gives away’ its games to Sony
The first possible scenario is the one that makes some Xbox users’ blood boil. Bethesda continues to release its games on Xbox, PC and PS5 and common gamers enjoy the release of Starfield, The Elder Scrolls VI and everything that has to come in the future from the hands of Arkane, id Software, Bethesda, Tango, Machinegames and the rest of Zenimax studios, which would continue to be multiplatform.
It’s my game and it’s for me
The second possible blood-boiling scenario, this time for PS5 users, is that all future games will be Xbox exclusive. This means that they can ‘only’ be played on Xbox Series X / S, PC, smart TV, mobile phones and tablets, but not on PS5 or Switch. Unless they end up opening the xCloud system to Nintendo as various rumors have already pointed out, but that’s another story.
Virtus on average
The third possible scenario corresponds to the communication made at the time by Phil Spencer, head of the Xbox department. It’s a ‘neither for you, nor for me’. Spencer announced that there was no resounding answer to that. since they would decide case by case. This could be the most logical scenario for the future: some fat and service titles will continue to come out on PS5 while other more iconic triple A’s could stay in the Xbox ecosystem.
What is your favorite setting?
This is where what I was saying before about pasta, money, twine, vile metal, and Microsoft’s real intentions in this new stage with Game Pass, Gold and the purchase of studios. Those of Redmond are putting the eggs – metaphorically speaking, careful eye there – in the basket of the services. With the fall from grace and the crawling advance of Google Stadia and Amazon Luna, Game Pass is shaping up as the best way to cheaply play a ton of games on a ton of devices, including launch, future Bethesda games, Arkane, etc.
While some think that the arrival of Game Pas to Nintendo would be a betrayal of blood – dishonor for your cow! – at the moment of truth it would be a major injection of money for Microsoft. A bigger budget to develop new games that would make it to the Launch Pass sponsored by Nintendo subscribers. The same would happen if the ‘exclusive’ games were cross-platform and came out on PS5. More money, more budget, more games, and best of all, the ability to make better subscription offers to Microsoft users.
Something similar happens with the opposite scenario: exclusive Microsoft games that will never come out on PS5. is it the end of the world? The absolute chaos? Death by neglect? Well no, either less. For Microsoft to decide to keep its studio games private is as legitimate as buying a studio and giving it Spider-Man, for example. Are decisions made by companies that are legitimized by the user. Moreover, if in the end the Bethesda games are exclusive, the solution to play them is simple: buy an Xbox Series S, which by then will be at a low price, and with what you save in Game Pass you have it amortized in three or more four games. You do not like? Well, that’s what xCloud is for.
Then? No matter what, pass the opposite or pass the intermediate, the reality is that there is no drama beyond the suffering of feeling the colors and surrendering your head to brands that, I feel bad the dreamThey are nothing more than companies. As an Xbox user, I’m happy that PS5 folks can play the same games as me as long as they’re free at launch on my Game Pass. As a PS5 user, I don’t care that some Microsoft games don’t make it to my console just as many Sony games don’t make it to Xbox. And let’s not talk about Nintendo … In the end it is the same: whoever wants to tear their clothes and cry out to heaven. Who does not enjoy video games.