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Microsoft Has Announced That Three Future Bethesda Games Will Be Xbox-exclusive

Perhaps Starfield, The Elder Scrolls VI, and Indiana Jones? Microsoft says three exclusives have already been chosen in its response to the FTC lawsuit seeking to block the Activision Blizzard deal.

We already knew that Microsoft would make Bethesda’s Starfield exclusive to Xbox and PC, and it appeared that The Elder Scrolls VI would also skip PlayStation and Nintendo. However, Microsoft’s lawyers have revealed that they have their sights set on at least one more exclusive title — three future Xbox exclusives from Bethesda, they revealed today, in response to the FTC’s lawsuit against the Activision Blizzard deal.

“Xbox anticipates that three future titles — REDACTED — all of which are designed to be played primarily alone or in small groups — will be exclusive to Xbox and PCs,” Microsoft’s response reads.

Here’s the context, so you can judge for yourself:

“The Complaint’s reference to Microsoft’s recent acquisition of ZeniMax- a set of gaming studios acquired in 2020 has no relevance to the current transaction. After that transaction closed, ZeniMax’s first two new games were made exclusive to PlayStation for one-year post-launch. Xbox anticipates that three future titles- all of which are designed to be played primarily alone or in small groups- will be exclusive to Xbox and PCs. But consistent with its historic approach, Xbox has continued to release new updates of existing ZeniMax games such as Fallout 76 and Elder Scrolls Online on both Xbox and PlayStation, because these games are designed to be played together by broad communities of gamers on different platforms. This last set of games is the one most analogous to Call of Duty. So the ZeniMax experience cuts against the idea that Xbox would make that game exclusive. And it is not just the ZeniMax games where Xbox has taken this approach; Xbox has also expanded (not contracted) access to Minecraft, a similar multiplayer game with a large existing community of gamers who play together from different platforms since it was acquired. If there were any remaining doubt, Xbox’s offer to put Call of Duty on other platforms on commercially favorable terms for those platforms should eliminate it.”

What could the third game be? Bethesda is working on an Indiana Jones game, and we know that Fallout 5 will be released… eventually. There’s also Redfall, which, like Starfield, has been pushed back to 2023. However, your guess is as good as ours.

Microsoft has been clear for years that it is buying up studios to shore up Xbox (and Game Pass) exclusives, so this comes as no surprise, but things have gotten heated recently with the company promising that Call of Duty will continue to appear on PlayStation — a piece of leverage that Microsoft appears to feel it needs to convince regulators to let the Activision Blizzard deal go through.

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