Phil Spencer Says Microsoft Doesn't Need to Ship Bethesda Games on Platforms Other Than its Own to Recoup Investment

Xbox's Phil Spencer has said that the deal to acquire Bethesda wasn't done in order to "take games away from another player base."

By Logan Moore

October 16, 2020

In light of Microsoft acquiring Bethesda Softworks and all of its studios only a few weeks back, ongoing discussions in the aftermath of the deal have largely centered around whether or not future titles from Bethesda would still come to other platforms outside of the Xbox ecosystem. After all, Microsoft spent a wild $7.5 billion on this acquisition, and considering how well titles like The Elder Scrolls VI would surely do on a platform like PS5 in terms of sales, the value proposition seems to be too much to pass up. According to Xbox head Phil Spencer, however, that’s not necessarily the case.

Speaking to Kotaku in a new interview, Spencer was asked about the Bethesda deal and what it might mean in the future. Specifically, the notion of bringing Bethesda titles to platforms outside of Xbox was brought up. In terms of making back its investment, Spencer said very clearly that releasing Bethesda games on platforms other than those that Microsoft has at its disposal right now won’t be needed.

“But I’ll also say in the model—I’m just answering directly the question that you had—when I think about where people are going to be playing and the number of devices that we had, and we have xCloud and PC and Game Pass and our console base, I don’t have to go ship those games on any other platform other than the platforms that we support in order to kind of make the deal work for us,” Spencer said. Even though it has previously been said that Bethesda games might come to other platforms on a case by case basis, Spencer’s comments here makes it sound as though it might not be a common occurrence.

Additionally, Spencer noted that the Bethesda acquisition in the first place was not one that was made to keep players from playing certain games from the publisher. “This deal was not done to take games away from another player base like that. Nowhere in the documentation that we put together was: ‘How do we keep other players from playing these games?’ We want more people to be able to play games, not fewer people to be able to go play games,” he explained. The notion of growing the larger video game market has been something that Spencer has talked a lot about over the years.

It remains to be seen just how Bethesda ends up fitting into Microsoft’s plans for the future with the Xbox Series X/S, but at this point, it sounds like you might want to invest in that ecosystem if you want to guarantee that you can continue to play games from the label moving forward.

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Logan Moore

Logan Moore is the Managing Editor around these parts and enjoys the video game Super Mario Odyssey.

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