Bethesda’s new game Starfield may not come to PlayStation consoles, according to a new report. Instead, it will probably be exclusive to Xbox consoles and PC, following the acquisition of Bethesda by Microsoft. If true, it wouldn’t be a surprise, but it’ll probably still disappoint the PlayStation-based fans.
Starfield is the mysterious new IP from Bethesda, first announced at E3 in 2018. We’ve never really heard anything else about it up to this point, but a new game from such a big company known for having so many other great games is always exciting. Alongside Starfield, we also know that Bethesda is working on Elder Scrolls 6, and if that game is revealed to be exclusive, I’m ducking under a rock to protect myself from the resulting fan explosion.
The report comes from GamesBeat, with Jeff Grubb pointing out that Xbox’s Phil Spencer specifically said during the acquisition period that the company intended to use Bethesda games to boost the audience for Xbox Game Pass. If Starfield becomes an Xbox Game Pass launch title, I don’t think I could call it anything short of a coup. Grubb adds, “A blockbuster game release from the team that made The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is best if Microsoft treats it as an investment into a larger service.”
It’s always possible that Starfield could be a timed console exclusive, meaning it’ll eventually be released on PlayStation, but somehow I doubt it. Microsoft has made a big show of how intertwined the two companies are — the tagline, as it were, of the acquisition was “We’ve always been fans; now we’re family” — so it doesn’t seem likely to me that it’d relinquish control of its newly-acquired IP enough for it to be ported to the competition. But perhaps the spirit of inclusivity and camaraderie in gaming will win out. I’ve been wrong before.