Did Phil Spencer Suggest That Elder Scrolls 6 and Starfield Will Be Xbox Exclusives?

By Sam Hargrave Updated:

Ever since Xbox announced its plans to acquire The Elder Scrolls and Fallout publisher Bethesda, it's been unclear exactly what that will mean for the future of its games. Most have assumed future titles from the publisher will become exclusive to the platform, however, the company already has existing commitments to other platforms such as Deathloop, which will release in 2021 as a PS5 exclusive.

As the sale of the gaming giant becomes official, a live-stream has been held discussing the future of Bethesda, with Xbox head Phil Spencer discussing plans for future games from the company. 


In comments transcribed on Twitter by Nibel, Spencer shared his dedication to “see-through” existing obligations for Bethesda titles such as Deathloop, which is set to release as a PS5 exclusive later this year.

He also didn't necessarily rule out future titles releasing on other platforms, saying titles that have “contractual things or legacy on different platform,” may still be shared outside the Xbox ecosystem: 

“So obviously I can't sit here and say 'every Bethesda game is exclusive' because we know that's not true. There are contractual obligations that we gonna see-through, we always do in every one of these instances. We have games that exist on other platforms, and we are going to support those games on the platforms they are on. [...] And even in the future, there might be things that have either contractual things or legacy on different platforms that we'll do.”

However, it sounds like the company will be primarily focusing on producing Xbox exclusive titles from the studios under Bethesda as they plan to “ship on platforms where Game Pass exists,” those being Xbox consoles and PC:

“But: if you're an Xbox customer, the thing I want you to know is that this is about delivering great exclusive games for you that ship on platforms where Game Pass exists. And that's our goal, that's why we are doing this, that's the root of this partnership that we are building. And the creative capability we will be able to bring to market for Xbox customers is going to be the best it's ever been for Xbox after we are done here.”


It's unfortunate timing for this announcement for gamers across the board. With both Xbox and PlayStation having just dropped next-gen consoles a few months ago, many fans have already purchased a new PlayStation console and are now likely to be excluded from future Bethesda titles.

Several titles confirmed to be in development at Bethesda include The Elder Scrolls VI, an Indiana Jones game, and sci-fi adventure Starfield, all of which are now unlikely to release on PS5. 

The acquisition is certainly a necessary one for Xbox as its Series X/S console sales lagged heavily behind the PS5. Taking highly-anticipated titles like these as exclusives is a move that will benefit them greatly in the long-run.

This also heavily reaffirms the company's commitment to the Game Pass subscription service that allows a whole library of titles to be accessed for a monthly fee. Xbox announced today that a library of Bethesda Icons will be joining the service soon, only adding to the huge line-up.

Past rumors suggested Microsoft may be interested in adding their service to other platforms like PlayStation in the future. So, if this is something Sony would be interested in, it's possible PlayStation fans will have access to future titles from the publisher in the future.

- About The Author: Sam Hargrave
Sam Hargrave is the Associate Editor at The Direct. He joined the team as a gaming writer in 2020 before later expanding into writing for all areas of The Direct and taking on further responsibilities such as editorial tasks and image creation.