Mobile Menu

Last Bets In: Will Bethesda Games Stay Exclusive?

By Monday, there’s every chance the Zenimax/Bethesda purchase will be over and Doom, Fallout, Elder Scrolls and a host of other IPs will become Microsoft exclusives.


Although it depends what you want to believe. Depending where you get your news from, it may be you believe PS5 owners will continue to get these legendary IPs.

Certainly over the next few weeks, the sale is going to go through, and Microsoft will be able to give a more definitive roadmap for going forward. It’s been a long five months, and this is our last chance to wildly speculate about what their plans are.

Microsoft will keep Bethesda games exclusive

Microsoft announced its intention to buy Zenimax and its subsidiaries on September 21, and if You like to have side bet MI Bets would tell you exclusivity would be be a safe gamble. The very fact that the question is even up in the air is a bit of a laugh, if you think of it in the wider context of exclusives as a whole. You wouldn’t bet on Nintendo or Sony bringing their newly bought games to other platforms, so why would Microsoft? It is safe to say that You do not have to be a betting expert to know what will be the end score here.

The company can’t out and out say that for legal reasons. But they shouldn’t have to. They’re not hurting for cash, and, besides, they only need to make more than that $7b odd was making in interest for this purchase to make sense.

But, hey, don’t take my word for it. Look at their entire marketing strategy over the last year. There are so many ways to play Xbox games without buying an Xbox. PC is the most obvious, followed by streaming on mobile (and later on TVs and PC).

What incentive is there for PlayStation people to buy into that ecosystem – from as low as £1 for a month – if they can just go and buy a game for PS5? Gamepass will eventually have six or so big first party titles every year – that’s the goal. And if you’re on PlayStation only, you’re going to have to buy in or go without.

Microsoft will sell Bethesda games on PS5

This is harder to believe. Sure, there might be exceptions. Fallout 76, for instance, only makes sense if you can guarantee as many players as possible. Crossplay would be ideal (but hasn’t yet appeared).


The next-gen version of Fallout? Nah. It gets most its hours through PC anyway.

But there are arguments for their continued appearance on PS5. There’s money to be had, especially if the sales figures look anything like last generation.

Does it matter? Probably not. But stranger things have happened.

If we presume money isn’t an issue for one of the biggest companies in the world, what other reasons are there for Microsoft to release games on Sony platforms?

Contracts – it may be Zenimax has already worked out where they’re putting future titles, and is already a good way through. Starfield, for instance, could be released this year. Will Microsoft just hit delete on all the files with a .PS5 suffix?*

*Editors note: This may not be how video game porting works.

We’ve already seen that Wolfenstein, Prey and Dishonored are getting Series X versions, but not PS5 versions. So it’s likely something has already ticked over internally. But you never know.

All in all, without the ability to bring people into its ecosystem, Xbox will cease to grow. Are Microsoft execs daft enough to make this decision? Only time will tell!


Last call, gentleman. Get your bets in now, before it’s too late.

Once the EU has ruled on the merger, there’s nothing we know of stopping this deal from being finished. That means Monday at the earliest, and maybe into March at the latest. That’s all going well – if a spanner is thrown in the works, it could be going on forever.

That seems unlikely. About as unlikely as PS5 getting The Elder Scrolls VI. Only time will tell – but it’s been fun guessing while it’s lasted.


Article By

blank Mat Growcott has been a long-time member of the gaming press. He's written two books and a web series, and doesn't have nearly enough time to play the games he writes about.

Follow on:
Twitter: @matgrowcott