PlayStation and Sony are currently running the market in terms of exclusives on their consoles. With the PS5 launching with titles, such as Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales and a remastered Demon's Souls, Microsoft seems to be playing catch-up, spanning back to the previous generation.
In September 2020, Microsoft Studios announced that they would be purchasing ZeniMax Media, the parent company of Bethesda Studios, for $7.5 billion. Undoubtedly branded as one of the largest acquisitions in the history of video games, speculation began on whether franchises such as The Elder Scrolls and Fallout would become exclusive to Microsoft and their line of consoles. However, a simple 'yes or no' may not be applicable in this situation.
In an interview with TASS , Ben Decker, Head of Gaming Services at Xbox, revealed that whilst the deal is yet to be finalized for Microsoft's purchase of ZeniMax Media and its subsequent game studios, the decision regarding exclusivity on Xbox for these games is yet to be decided:
What I will say is what Phil [Spencer, Microsoft's executive VP of Gaming] said - that we will make this decision on a case by case basis, but what I will say is: look, our goal is to get as many people into the Xbox community, to get as many people playing our games as possible, that's what's going to guide us.
Decker was reluctant to comment further on the subject of the acquisition, stating " we're going to have to wait for the actual transaction to be done."
WHAT THIS MEANS
While players on Microsoft's side of the fence can be relaxed in the fact that huge franchises such as The Elder Scrolls will be present on their consoles in the future, PlayStation owners can't seemingly hold the same confidence. It is probably safe to assume that we will see Sony versions of these games at some point, but the reluctance to confirm this from both ZeniMax Media and Microsoft brings multiple questions to fan's minds.
The recent release of Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War shows the potential for these games. Whilst the game was released on both platforms, PlayStation players received an exclusive game mode only playable on their consoles until November 1, 2021. Could this be a sign of things to come for Bethesda games on Sony consoles? Players will have to wait until the ZeniMax acquisition is completed to find out.