Microsoft has recently decided to limit all future ZeniMax content to Xbox starting in November of 2021.
Xbox CFO Tim Stuart discussed the decision to produce games like Starfield Redfall and Forza Horizon 3 during Microsoft’s final day of testimony before the FTC, as reported by IGN. Xbox head Phil Spencer produced The Elder Scrolls VI exclusively for Xbox platforms less than 2 years ago.
According to Stuart, the move was considered a “huge choice” within Microsoft and would cause revenue problems based on the company’s early projections of ZeniMax’s impact on its bottom line, which included PlayStation software sales.
Stuart and Matt Booty, the director of Xbox Game Studios, had that conversation. Stuart seemed surprised during the conversation to learn that every ZeniMax game will be exclusive to Xbox. Are all video games evolving? Stuart had to ask Booty. “Not just new intellectual property, but all games going forward? Wow.”
Reiterating what Phil had already said, Booty said, “Phil informed them all titles moving forward, Xbox special.”
Stuart noted the company would “have concerns in the offer design as we pull a substantial variety of PS systems out of design,” which could have an impact on their preliminary financial designs.
ZeniMax and Bethesda at the heart of Microsoft’s “huge” unique call
Microsoft spent $7.5 billion to acquire ZeniMax Media and its subsidiaries, which included Bethesda Softworks, in September 2020, indicating that the company waited a full year before going all-in on its massive exclusivity bet.
It’s unclear what prompted that decision, but the fact remains that Microsoft plainly changed its stance.
In March 2021, Phil Spencer said that the offer to acquire ZeniMax was motivated by a desire to give “fantastic exclusives” to Xbox, but it was unclear at the time how many of the company’s titles would be made platform unique.
We all know that each and every one of Bethesda’s video games is completely original, therefore it would be dishonest of me to pretend otherwise. Spencer said at the time, “We are visiting through our legal responsibilities, which we constantly carry out in each of these circumstances.”
“We will be going out and providing support for games that are already available on other platforms. We’re going to keep buying in areas where gamers live because we enjoy living there.
Spencer, it would appear, has decided that all ZeniMax tasks must be reserved for Xbox players.
Microsoft has promised to maintain Call of Duty and other brands on rival platforms despite its ongoing merger with Activision Blizzard, and the company has signed extended partnership deals with Nintendo and Nvidia GeForce Now to make that happen. Sony, on the other hand, has rejected a similar offer.Add to favorites