Last year's purchase of ZeniMax Media by Microsoft was a source of significant concern for PS4 and PS5 owners who are fans of The Elder Scrolls, Fallout, Doom and the many other franchises owned by ZeniMax. After the purchase, everyone expected these titles to shift to Xbox and PC exclusives.
Phil Spencer has all but confirmed that reality in a wide-ranging interview with GQ, in which the head of Xbox made it pretty clear that all of its franchises would be changing to that exclusivity model (via Windows Central).
- Best Xbox Series X games in 2021: The best Xbox games out now
- Battlefield 2042 review: Ambitious to a fault
- PS5 Black Friday deals 2021: Best sales on games and accessories
While previous interviews had hinted at that possibility and we already had confirmation that the hotly-anticipated Bethesda game Starfield would be an Xbox and PC exclusive, Spencer addressed the topic more broadly.
Spencer first spoke of the lack of first-party exclusives in the past, saying that if just one was a failure it was a source of serious concern that would leave them asking "Boy, what are we doing?" While he is quick to say that the move isn't about "punishing any other platform," it's going to feel that way to Elder Scrolls and Fallout fans with a PS4 or PS5 who find themselves unable to play the latest entries in the series.
Spencer pitches this instead as being about delivering the best experience possible on their platforms. “...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 VI. That would be true when I think about any of our franchises.”
While this falls short of Microsoft officially stating that all future installments of its first-party games will be Xbox and PC exclusives, it's hard not to interpret Spencer's statements that way. Time will tell as we head into 2022 and start seeing more game releases after the numerous delays across the industry this year.