Microsoft has suggested to the UK CMA regulatory agency that they will be making The Elder Scrolls 6 an Xbox exclusive.
While it’s a major revelation for fans of the franchise, and certainly of interest to the industry at large, it comes here as a merely supplementary detail to the investigation the CMA is undergoing, on whether they will approve Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard.
Microsoft makes this implication in a small part of their 111 page document arguing their case to the CMA. In this section, they explain that they rate their different games based on how many players they expect to play said game, and subsequently, this determines if they will bring the game to platforms outside their own.
For games like Fallout 76 and Psychonauts 2, Microsoft believes they have a niche audience, AKA a very small community. These games should be multiplatform, so they can make as much money as possible from them.
Games like Minecraft and Call of Duty are considered mass market. Microsoft recognizes they have massive online communities that grow even beyond the game itself, in terms of the social networks outside the game, the merchandise opportunities, etc. These games are also best made multiplatform, to reach as much of that mass market as possible.
On the other hand, Microsoft sees new IPs and games with uncertain audiences in a different category altogether. Both Starfield and Redfall were made Xbox exclusives because Microsoft sees them to appeal best to dedicated gamers, such as their loyal Xbox player base. Usually, these are also single player games.
Now, Microsoft gave this statement about The Elder Scrolls 6:
“Titles such as Elder Scrolls VI (which is not expected to be released before [redacted] with the last installment in the series being released in 2011), as well as other future titles, will not involve Microsoft forgoing ca. USD [redacted] per annum of revenue from PlayStation customers or disenfranchising ca. [redacted] million MAU on PlayStation.”
The argument here is that The Elder Scrolls 6 belongs in that middle category, which appeal best to dedicated gamers. There may be money in bringing the game to PlayStation or other platforms, even Nintendo’s. However, Microsoft sees they could benefit more from making The Elder Scrolls 6 exclusive, as it is best used to drive sales of their Xbox consoles.
Interestingly enough, almost a year ago Phil Spencer himself said about the same thing in an interview. Phil argues exclusivity is not about punishing PlayStation fans, but making some games purposely for the Xbox is the only way they can showcase the best of what the Xbox can do.
Even back then, we noted that Phil just about confirms that The Elder Scrolls 6 is Xbox exclusive. Now it seems we can just assume that this is going to be the case for sure, as they just fall short of an official announcement.
Source: The Gamer