Microsoft is reportedly planning a multiplatform release at a bigger scale than Sea of Thieves and Hi-Fi Rush.
As reported by XboxEra, no less than the Bethesda title Starfield is being planned for release to PlayStation 5. This port is planned to arrive after Bethesda Softworks releases the Starfield expansion, Shattered Space, in 2024.
It’s an odd way for Starfield’s story to come full circle. As the title was announced as an Xbox exclusive, it became a talking point in the regulation that investigated Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard King. A key point Microsoft made in those investigations is that, while they would publish games on PlayStation’s platform as it benefited them, they were under no obligation to bring any titles to their rivals. Making AAA games to sell platforms is the nature of the games business. The regulators agreed that this did not constitute an antitrust or competition issue.
Xbox gamers are understandably upset by this rumor. It’s important to remember that consoles like the Xbox, PlayStation, and Nintendo Switch, are sold on the idea of the hardware manufacturer providing a market of games on their platform that gamers will enjoy. To differentiate between themselves, and also other emerging platforms like the Steam Deck, exclusives are used as an incentive to buy a specific platform.
In the case of Starfield, we know that the game can be bought and played on PC, even if you’re using Game Pass. But when you choose to buy Starfield and an Xbox, you put trust on the company that they will focus on making a great version of the game on the platform, and that that purchase will be worthwhile.
This may be partly a matter of perception, but a consumer who made those choices may feel their purchase isn’t worthwhile if the game can be bought on other platforms after all. Microsoft already publishes some games on PlayStation, like Minecraft, but a major AAA like Starfield has considerably more production values. It is rightly considered a bigger and more important game, not just by fans, but the company itself.
XboxEra’s report also claims that this decision was a matter of fierce internal debate within Microsoft. No information has come out on who wanted out, but when weighing all the pros and cons, the need to recoup on their investment ended up winning.
Nate The Hate has also tweeted to corroborate this rumor, and the detail that the PlayStation 5 port is coming after the expansion is released. But, Nate also shares one detail that could change all this.
According to Nate, there is no set date for the PlayStation 5 port. Nate states this means there is a possibility that Microsoft will change their mind. Without a clear message from Microsoft Gaming, however, this rumor will be a cloud that will float over any announcement or release from the company.