Phil Spencer leans in on Xbox Game Pass exclusivity for forthcoming Bethesda releases


‘This is about delivering great exclusive games that ship on platforms where Game Pass exists’

With each and every passing statement, Xbox continues to lean in harder on the exclusivity benefits the green brand has earned thanks to its mighty pricey purchase of ZeniMax Media and its subsidiary studios, most notably the AAA developer/publisher Bethesda Softworks.

During yesterday’s “roundtable discussion” video, where Xbox and Bethesda converged on stream to discuss the multi-billion dollar buyout, Xbox VP of Gaming Phil Spencer stressed the exclusivity potential of Bethesda’s wares, particularly as it pertains to the Xbox Game Pass subscription service.

“We have games that exist on other platforms, and we’re going to support those games on the platforms they’re on,” said Spencer on the subject of console exclusivity. “There are communities of players. We love those communities and will continue to invest in them.”

“Even in the future, there might be things that have either contractual things, or legacy on different platforms, that we’ll still do […] But, if you’re an Xbox customer, the thing I want you to know is this is about delivering great exclusive games for you that ship on platforms where Game Pass exists.”

During the stream Xbox and Bethesda also revealed a slew of the latter’s titles that are being added to the Xbox Game Pass service. You can check the full list out right here.

Spencer’s comments continue to outline a direction that many players thought inevitable once the ZeniMax deal was announced: that Bethesda’s major brands – which include Fallout, The Elder Scrolls, Doom, and Wolfenstein – will be presented as Xbox-exclusive titles from this point forward. While early statements suggested that Microsoft might be a little more lenient than that in regards to exclusivity, the fact of the matter remains that a company doesn’t open its wallet to the tune of $7.5 billion with plans on playing share and share alike with all of its rivals.

The truth is, we probably won’t know for sure what exclusivity deals Xbox/Bethesda has in mind until some of these coveted brands start seeing sequels. Until that day, players can probably expect a lot of media-pleasing business-speak, right up until the day a major release – a Fallout 5 for example – is announced and Xbox is forced to show its hand.

Anyway, to end with a little positivity, check out this fantastic comic-book style spread featuring Bethesda’s army of badass heroes and villains. Who’s your fave? I love Emily Kaldwin.

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— Bethesda (@bethesda) March 12, 2021