Future Bethesda Softworks games will be “either first or better or best” on Xbox and PC, says Xbox CFO

"We don’t have intentions of just pulling all of Bethesda content out of Sony or Nintendo or otherwise."

Future Bethesda Softworks games will be "either first or better or best" on Xbox and PC, says Xbox CFO

Future Bethesda Softworks games will be “either first or better or best” on Xbox and PC, according to Xbox chief executive officer Tim Stuart.

“We don’t have intentions of just pulling all of Bethesda content out of Sony or Nintendo or otherwise,” Stuart said during the Jefferies Interactive Entertainment Virtual Conference on November 12, as transcribed by Seeking Alpha. “But what we want is, we want that content, in the long run, to be either first or better or best or pick your differentiated experience, on our platforms. We will want Bethesda content to show up the best as—on our platforms.”

Stuart later followed up, “I’m not announcing pulling content from platforms one way or the other. But I suspect you’ll continue to see us shift towards a first or better or best approach on our platforms.”

Here is the full quote:

Yes. The goal here is, we’re—I’ll say it from a cross-platform perspective. Microsoft is a platform. We’re one of the first to really support Minecraft, Roblox, and Fortnite across platforms. So we highly encourage cross-platform play, simply from this landscape of, if it’s good for the gaming ecosystem, it’s good for us, classic rising tide lifts all boats.

What we’ll do in the long run is, we don’t have intentions of just pulling all of Bethesda content out of Sony or Nintendo or otherwise. But what we want is, we want that content, in the long run, to be either first or better or best or pick your differentiated experience, on our platforms. We will want Bethesda content to show up the best as—on our platforms.

Yes. That’s not a point about being exclusive. That’s not a point about we’re being—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.

So again, I’m not announcing pulling content from platforms one way or the other. But I suspect you’ll continue to see us shift towards a first or better or best approach on our platforms.

Microsoft announced its intention to acquire Bethesda Softworks parent company Zenimax Media in September in a $7.5 billion deal expected to close in the second half of fiscal year 2021. At the time, Xbox boss Phil Spencer told Bloomberg that future Bethesda Softworks games would be available on non-Xbox and PC platforms on a “case-by-case basis.”

More recently, Bethesda Softworks’ Todd Howard told GamesIndustry.biz that while something like an Xbox-exclusive The Elder Scrolls VI would be “hard to imagine,” the details of the deal are still being finalized.

“We do view it, and always have by ourselves, on a case-by-case basis,” Howard said. “We’ll do that as part of Microsoft as well. They’ve been pretty open on other platforms and not just within Xbox. This is an outside perspective, but if you go back ten years at Microsoft, you wouldn’t expect them to have a full Office suite on an iPhone either.”

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