Elder Scrolls 6 Reportedly Planned as an Xbox Exclusive
One of the most shocking business dealings in the past year was the acquisition of developer Bethesda by Microsoft, the company responsible for the reboots of franchises like Doom, Wolfenstein, and the creators of The Elder Scrolls series and current owners of the Fallout franchise. To have a company like them picked up by one of the big three hardware companies in gaming seemed like an impossibility. However, it did happen, and with Bethesda owned by Microsoft, the possibility of console exclusives comes at the cost of the company putting the game on its console alone.
Phil Spencer Talks About Exclusives
In the interview, Spencer mentions that purchase of Bethesda was in part the purchase of Zenimax Media, the parent company. However, by buying out Zenimax, they were also getting Bethesda. It’s not a bad move for the company or Xbox, seeing that the two gaming companies have held an unofficial partnership in the industry. Bethesda worked with Xbox to make their games for that platform first, then ported them to the other consoles second. Having them working for Xbox is now more of the same.
With the purchase of Bethesda, Xbox will have its titles on the platform from the start, aside from Deathloop, which launched as a PC and PS5 exclusive. Ironically, it was the plan before the buyout. Changing that due to the company’s acquisition would be in bad faith for the consumer. However, now that Deathloop is out of the way, nothing stops them from making their future titles exclusives. Bethesda’s next massive title Starfield is going to be exclusive to PC and Xbox. And when mentioning the game after Elder Scrolls 6, Spencer mentions that it’s probably going to be the same for that title as well.
Does it mean that they’re going to take some of the biggest series and keep them Xbox only? It may seem that way, but there’s a chance that they might not do that. Considering that Deathloop and Psychonauts 2 were brought to the PlayStation platform in conjunction with Xbox, Xbox doesn’t seem worried about putting some of their titles on PlayStation. “It’s not about punishing any other platform like I fundamentally believe all of the platforms can continue to grow, But to be on Xbox, I want us to be able to bring the full complete package of what we have. And that would be true when I think about Elder Scrolls 6. That would be true when I think about any of our franchises.”
Todd Howard Talks Elder Scrolls
Todd Howard also spoke in the interview, talking about The Elder Scrolls 6 and how they’re planning on using parts of Starfield in the new game. While The Elder Scrolls 6 is farther out, being that it’s the next title after Starfield, they’re working to ensure that the game will be the best it can be. With Xbox backing the company, there’s a good possibility that the company will be held to the standard of Xbox’s games. While they’re not perfect, they’re certainly more polished than some of the games that Bethesda’s been putting out.
However, because Xbox turned 20 and Skyrim is turning 10, there’s another problem that Howard and the company are facing—topping Skyrim. “I do this weird exercise that I like,” he explains. “You go back and you read a review of the first Elder Scrolls. And then you read The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion’s, then you read The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim’s. You blackout a couple of things. And they read the same. ‘You’ve stepped out, and oh my gosh, it feels so real.’ People change. Technology changes. But the ultimate goal is still to make it so that, when you boot the game up, you feel like you’ve been transported.”
With the game passing 10 years, Howard spoke on the legacy of Skyrim and what that means for the next version of The Elder Scrolls. “But then you realize, like, The Elder Scrolls 6 has got to be a decade game. How do you make a game where you go into it, like, people have to play it for a decade?”
Spencer Talks About Game Pass and the Future
Something that’s been a massive thing for the company is the success of Game Pass and backward compatibility. With some of the games that players enjoy coming from previous console generations, some want to continue to sink their time into older games. Some players want to try new games without worrying about purchasing a full title, only not to like it.
Some people can’t get their hands on an Xbox, so they can’t play some of these games at all. Game Pass seems to alleviate a lot of these issues. For one Game Pass, being tied to Xbox Live allows players to play the games they want while still enjoying online. The xCloud is a way to play these games on other devices that might not be Xboxes. While these titles aren’t Series X titles, they are ways to enjoy Xbox without owning a controller for it. With the xCloud being on phones, players can take them on the go without much issue.
Another thing to consider is backward compatibility. Some games, like Battlefront 2, have been highlights of players’ gaming lifetime. Being able to revisit that through backward compatibility makes the game all the more enjoyable. Even more, there’s plenty of ways to try these games out with Game Pass. While they may be innovating on how people enjoy games physically, they’re still content with staying away from virtual reality devices instead of focusing on software.
However, with all of the wins that Xbox has been taking over the past several years, the console still has some losses. The Kinect, the Always-on Xbox One, and even things like the Xbox 360’s Red Ring of Death. However, these blemishes are starting to dissipate when players think about how much more the Xbox is doing. Xbox’s development for a controller for disabled people, Xbox’s push to make games accessible for everyone, putting the player first, these things are what keep the company going. And even though Spencer has been with the company throughout most of this, he’s not getting any younger. “Clearly, as somebody who has been here for 33 years, I have more years behind me than ahead of me, But the longevity of this team, the sustainability of this team, there’s nothing more important to me right now than that.”
When talking about his options to retire, he mentions that he’s planning on stepping down when the time is right. He talks about how he wants to make sure that when he leaves the company, he will have someone he can count on to continue the trajectory he has the company at. “And that we’re making the right decisions on who to bet on. That has got to outlive me.”
Xbox seems to be rising the ranks in gaming once again. They’re close to companies like PlayStation, but even though they’re behind in sales, they’re making more of a splash in forwarding and innovating the way that people play their titles, as well as the way that people enjoy their games.