With Microsoft buying up ZeniMax Media, many wondered what this would mean for titles from Bethesda, id Software, Arkane Studios, MachineGames, Tango Gameworks and more. Now Xbox chief financial officer Tim Stuart spoke about some of Microsoft’s future strategy, where he wants Bethesda titles to be “either first or better or best” on its platforms.
Stuart was speaking at the Jefferies Interactive Entertainment Virtual Conference when he said that Microsoft has no intention of “just pulling all of Bethesda content out of Sony or Nintendo or otherwise”, which should be a relief to anyone who thought the acquisition would lead to big franchises becoming exclusives.
“When we think about Bethesda, [we’ll] continue to sell their games on the platforms that they exist today, and we’ll determine what that looks over time and will change over time. I’m not making any announcements about exclusivity or something like that. But that model will change.”
“That’s not a point about being exclusive. That’s not a point about…adjusting timing or content or road map. But if you think about something like Game Pass, if it shows up best in Game Pass, that’s what we want to see, and we want to drive our Game Pass subscriber base through that Bethesda pipeline.”
It still feels like there is a caveat to all these discussions, like a hanging “for now” over the statements, but it could just be all the corporate double-speak making things appear less clear.