During Microsoft’s hearing against the Federal Trade Commission, Xbox head Phil Spencer revealed that one of the main reasons for acquiring Zenimax – Bethesda’s parent company – was that Starfield might become an exclusive game for the PS5.
“When we acquired ZeniMax, one of the reasons for that was that Sony had made a deal for Deathloop and Ghostwire … to pay Bethesda so that those games would not appear on Xbox,” Spencer said, according to The Verge.
“So when we heard that Starfield might also skip Xbox, we can’t be in the position of having a console in third place where we fall even further behind in terms of our own content ownership, so we had to secure content to remain viable in the business.”
Spencer argues that Microsoft’s strategy of acquiring companies such as Bethesda is a way to remain competitive in the market against Sony, which has paid for exclusivity of titles such as Deathloop and Ghostwire Tokyo in the past.
Spencer also declined to comment on whether the next game in the Elder Scrolls franchise will be exclusive to Xbox, or if it will be released on multiple platforms. He indicated that the game is still too far away to say which platforms it will release on.
The FTC is using Microsoft’s previous acquisition of Bethesda and how it turned multiplatform games into Xbox exclusives as evidence that it should not be allowed to take over Activision Blizzard.