It's been a big week in the video game industry, with Microsoft officially finalising its $7.5 billion acquisition of Bethesda's parent company, ZeniMax Media.
Microsoft is expected to limit Bethesda's third-party support at a certain point in the future and in a special roundtable discussion, Xbox head Phil Spencer has now further clarified what fans of Bethesda, Xbox and other platforms can expect.
While the company will fulfill contractual obligations and continue to support existing releases and services on other systems, if you want to be part of Bethesda's future, you'll need to be "where Game Pass exists". That's on Xbox, PC, or a device that supports the service.
"So obviously, I can't sit here and say every Bethesda game is exclusive, because we know that's not true, there's contractual obligations that we're gonna see through as we always do in every one of these instances. We have games that exist on other platforms, and we're gonna go support those games on the platforms they're on. There's communities of players, we love those communities, and we'll continue to invest in them. And even in the future, there might be things that have their contractual things or legacy on different platforms that we'll go do."
"But, if you're an Xbox customer, the thing I want you to know is this is about delivering great exclusive games for you, that ship on platforms where Game Pass exists. And that's our goal, that's why we're doing this, that's the root of this partnership that we're building, and the creative capability we will be able to bring to market for Xbox customers is gonna be the best it's ever been for Xbox after we're done here."
Phil's comments about fulfilling "contractual obligations" are likely in reference to the timed PlayStation exclusives Deathloop and Ghostwire: Tokyo. Additionally, Bethesda is expected to continue to support services like Fallout 76 on other platforms.
While you could argue this won't impact Nintendo going forward, Bethesda - including id Software - have released more than ten titles on the Switch. It also got Skyrim, so now that Bethesda is owned by Microsoft, who knows what could happen in the future when it comes to games like Elder Scrolls VI. There's a real chance Xbox will keep them within its own ecosystem.
What are your own thoughts about all of this? Think we'll see any Bethesda IP on Nintendo platforms in the future? Leave a comment down below.
(Why is this on a Nintendo site?)
Anyway, I am happy about game pass and bethesda as that means I can get my TES on cheaply until the PC version comes down in price. Gotta wait a year for mods anyway lol.
A Gamepass app for Switch would be great. It's a great service.
Game Pass is fantastic value on PC. I already own the Elder Scrolls and Fallout games on Steam though. I could see this being a way for them to push XCloud onto more devices though, you could then theoretically play Morrowind on Switch. Which would be amazing.
Here’s hoping Fallout 3 and Vegas are in the pipeline for Switch already and just haven’t been announced.
People overreacted to this everywhere else. It's so simple: either everything is a timed exclusive or the games that Bethesda has already announced are on all platforms.
Basically means new Bethesda games are never coming to Switch or any future Nintendo hardware ever again.
To be fair, Starfield and The Elder Scrolls VI were never going to launch in Switch anyways, but this also means no more Doom or Wolfenstein on Nintendo hardware anymore, which kinda sucks.
At least old Bethesda games are still open to being multiplatform. Remasters of Morrowind/Oblivion/Fallout 3/New Vegas on Switch + a port of Fallout 4 on Switch 2 could be big sellers.
This could turn out bad, I like to think it wont (I like to)
Still holding hope we get a Game Pass / xCloud for Switch. Lotta legal loops and hoops to jump through, I’m sure, but man MS would gain soooooooo many more subs to Game Pass if they expanded it beyond Xbox, Pc, & phone.....
Edit - Also, I have Game Pass with my Series X (mainly cause I’m too broke after the Series X to buy games for it, lol) But it’s honestly a fair and decent service. Most first party stuff stays on there for extended periods / indefinitely, and third party stuff lasts a few months usually. There’s also a ton of great Indies on there - most I already own on Switch like Crosscode, Monster Sanctuary, etc.
@TheLightSpirit It won't have any impact 💯
Spencer says that they're still honoring all contractual obligations... Which means that there is no impact. Thus, this really shouldn't be on a Nintendo Site.
So how are you going to expand Game Pass to the world when you still ignore the only platform the world loves right now? C'mon Microsoft your easy money lies with the Switch, throw Game Pass in there and maybe the Japanese will take you seriously.
@TheLightSpirit Ah, cue the rumormill/gossip and speculation then.
I’ll stick with Nintendo news.
This is good for Xbox. They can get that "Xbox has no exclusives" joke out of the way now that they got Bethesda on their team.
To compensate this, I will probably be purchasing an XSS for 3rd party games and Game Pass
@TheLightSpirit You can still buy games for $70. Just because it is on GamePass doesn't mean you cant buy it.
good for Xbox. That way they can stick it to Sony and their toxic fanbase who are against Xbox.
I personally feel happy for Microsoft. They can get more exclusives on the Xbox and PC platforms and less on Playstation.
I mean, I'm keeping a very, very vague eye open for Elder Scrolls VI. But, if it comes out on a platform that is a "games as a service" type thing, I've got plenty of other things to play.
Either way, Bethesda isn't that hot anymore.
WATCHFUL NINJA EYE FROM THE CLOUDS
@BloodNinja Bethesda released a recent game that is ACTUALLY good is Doom Eternal.
Other games like Fallout 76 and Youngblood are bad tho.
Other Bethesda games are good tho imo like Evil Within, Skyrim, DOOM, and stuff like that
Xbox can finally stick it to Sony and their toxic fanbase
I am purchasing an XSS because of this.
Also it is cheap
@anoyonmus Yeah, not into Doom. OLD SCHOOL Doom is 10000 times better than the new stuff.
DOOM GUY NINJA APPROVED
Nintendo is probably peeved by this given given that the Switch was the first Nintendo platform that Bethesda ever took seriously. With that being said, nearly all of Bethesda's content on Switch were late downgraded ports, so while losing their support stings, it is ultimately meaningless in the long term as I doubt many people were bought Nintendo hardware for a selection of Bethesda games.
Sony is probably seething as The Elder Scrolls VI and Fallout 5 (and Starfield if it turns out to be good) would have been guaranteed 10+ million sellers on PS5.
@westman98 Starfield might be multiplatform but we dk for certain.
Elder scrolls and Fallout are definitely gonna be Xbox exclusive.
I am very happy for Xbox tho.
Sony does have timed exclusives for Deathloop and Ghostwire Tokyo.
Well, at least I can still get and will eventually enjoy Skyrim on my NS.
@the4seer Man you seem fun
@thehappyaerithch what's that supposed to mean.
@thehappyaerithch to be fair, I think Xbox made the right decision.
I am just stating the facts. At least the current Bethesda games won't be removed from Playstation and Nintendo.
I am sorry if I was being toxic but that is pretty much how PS fans feel about Xbox. Like the whole Xbox has no exclusives and all that stuff.
As they should be. Exclusives sell hardware and frankly Xbox has had a lack of really good ones outside of Forza and Gears for a while now. This move completely changes the discussion surrounding that.
Starfield is not legacy content - therefore, it will be Xbox/PC/XCloud exclusive.
@SpaceboyScreams I have my moments, I guess...
Not trying to spoil anyone's fun, I just didn't like the article and bothered to comment.
The title is factual, but it's so misleading once you read the actual context. Obviously, future Bethesda games will only be available via X-Box/Game Pass. Although, this doesn't negatively impact any other platforms right now. All previous contracts are secure.
This won't impact Nintendo any time soon, and may have never had any significant impact at all.
i mean why is this on a nintendo site.
when xbox bought them i thought it was pretty clear xbox wanted exclusives. what is the point of buying them if you do not
xbox owns them they can not just put exclusives on switch
MS would love to bring GamePass to Switch. They want it an all platforms possible.
But Nintendo ( and Sony ) would never allow this. They would loose so much money, of they let GamePass on their devices.
Nintendo is fighting with other services over your time and commitment. They want you to spend the most time with their ecosystem, so that you keep buying games on their store.
Everything Nintendo does, is trying to make you use your time and money on their store and services.
GamePass has no benefit for Nintendo, in that regard. There is nothing to gain for them, to allow GamePass on Switch.
Remember, Nintendo and others get most of their revenue from selling games. Not so much from hardware sales.
That is also the reason, whu we do not se many TV/Movie streaming services on Switch. Nintendo is not particular interested in having you use your time on those services.
game pass on switch will not happen. i do not think nintendo and microsoft are that good of freinds.
Hmm, no Phil Spencer has gone down in my estimations here. He has practically lied until the deal was finalized, saying the business wouldn't change that much.
Dammit, Phil, transparency goes a long way. There would have been much more resistance if you said outright it they were exclusive. But at least you would have been honest.
Bah. Microsoft, earn your place...don't just buy it.
I said it before and I say it again. I don't like first parties buying 3rd parties. While it's good for that one first party, it's bad for players. I dislike limiting player options or choices.
@nessisonett OG Xbox and 360 games aren't on xCloud. In the recent Game Pass batch the games that aren't coming to xCloud are Morrowind, Oblivion and Fallout New Vegas which are the OG Xbox and 360 games.
Bad news: GamePass still doesn't sound likely on Nintendo platforms.
Good news: Dishonored trilogy and pretty much all the other games on my Bethesda #portbegging list aren't exactly "new".
Hmm owned company brings exclusives to their own platform. Who would have thought?
@GrailUK uhm… competitir Sony has bought almost all of their studios. It’s how the market works. Also, who would have thought that a company would bring exclusives to the platform they are a part of? That’s insane right?
@thelightspirit @BloodNinja it’s coming out on a platform that HAS a games as a service in addition to being able to buy the games as you would now. I see this so often; people say they don’t want to rent their games, whatever - but being on Gamepass doesn’t mean you can’t still just buy the game instead. Just won’t be on Switch or PS.
Sometimes I don’t know if these comments are just jokes but yea.
@GrailUK he said they had’t decided yet and it will be a case by case basis - the reason he said that was that everyone was harassing him for a comment on exclusivity. They probably hadn’t decided yet.
@K1LLEGAL It was speculation on my part that Bethesda will eventually move only to something like gamepass. That’s why I worded it that way. Thanks for at least asking!
Game pass is a push into you not owning your games.
It's cheap now, but once it becomes the norm, expect insane prices. $70 a month? Why not.
I’m happy with my Switch but really get FOMO for some of the games that don’t make it over. The only thing that’s stopped me is not knowing whether to go for Xbox or PS but gamepass is a real intrigue
@BloodNinja well every single game on Gamepass, you can purchase without needing Gamepass. It would be wierd if Bethesda games were an exception to that? I mean look we never know what is going to happen in the future. Nintendo could go all streaming (unlikely). But let’s just hope there is a purchase option too. I’m not going to go round asking people what they really mean with their comments - I just wanted to clarify to anyone reading so that they are not misinformed.
I'm primarily a PS gamer so this really bums me out, but it's really not surprising. You don't shell out $7.5b to continue releasing marquee titles on your competition's hardware.
I guess I will look into Game Pass on PC when the next group of interesting Bethesda games drops. I don't see Nintendo or Sony allowing Game Pass on their platforms, especially since in Sony's case they have PS Now, which isn't the same but surely Game Pass would cannibalize their existing subs.
One thing certain is I still won't be buying an Xbox. I can't afford to have a Switch, a PS5, an XBSX and a PC. And I also am not happy about not owning games - I get I could still buy them on PC, but Game Pass might be necessary since my PC may not be up to snuff so I'll need streaming to play.
Just give us Fable 1 & 2, keep all the Bethesda game.
Sony & Nintendo probably compose 70% of the video game market. So Bethesda just eliminated themselves from any kind of leadership position in the industry. Oh, and games that are made from Day One to be given away, usually suck. There's no incentive to create a master work over years and then give it away. Look at the new Halo, it will be crap and everyone will says that's OK because it was free on GamePass.
@TheLightSpirit "I've never been interested in Game Pass as I prefer to buy my games".
You can buy Game Pass games on Xbox and PC but he means that ZeniMax games will be available on any device supporting Game Pass Cloud such as phones, tablets and smart TVs (soon).
Whilst it seems unlikely that Sony will get anything in future Microsoft have shown that they don’t view Nintendo as a direct competitor and as such we may see some ports of future games to the Switch.
Since Bethesda hardly bring any new games to Nintendo this won't bother too many Nintendo fans, also just get gamepass on your phone and connect it to a TV, saves you from buying an xbox or pc and saves you hundreds
@GamerDad66 couldn't of put it better myself, that's got to be over $1 billion they will lose on sales by missing Nintendo and Sony platforms. Oh well, lesson will be learnt
@Trajan "Game pass is a push into you not owning your games."
Where did you get this info? You can buy games as much as you want. But if you don't want to buy them, you can "rent" them while they are on the Game Pass.
Makes sense to me. Xbox needs more exclusives.
Not interested in Microsofts renting system. But that is fine, I'll just wait until MS finally gives up on the XBox platform and these games will be available everywhere again. Considering how much market MS has lost on the PC desktop space (ChromeOS, Linux and MacOS are all taking market shares from Windows) Microsoft will probably want to be careful with their money very soon...
@Imerion "Not interested in Microsofts renting system."
Do people even know what Game Pass is? No one is stopping you from buying these games. It just gives you an option to rent them if you don't want to buy them. Game Pass is also on PC, not only on Xbox.
What a poor move from Microsoft and xbox, They cant make their own good games or exclusive so they have to buy out one of the big publishers, they also bought out the developers of hellbalde senua.
This has only leads me to dislike xbox And microsoft, trying to force me to buy a console I do not want.
if I feel the need to play these games in the future I will borrow a friends or buy a second hand xbox and used game.
“ complaining about Sony and their toxic fanbase”
“ Being toxic yourself”
Pick one since you are being hypocritical here. Grow up.
@monterxz I never said I was prevented from buying the games. I just said I had no interest in Game Pass specifically, which is without doubt a renting system.
I am also worried MS might make games exclusive to Game Pass in the future, but that is another discussion.
More meaningful exclusives for XBox platforms means more competition between Sony and MS on the console front, which in turn can only be good for everyone. That should prevent Sony from resting on their laurels, they haven't really had to be pro-consumers for quite some time (lack of backwards compatibility, being opposed to cross-platform online gaming, etc). This is only good news, no company should have an almost monopoly on the market, cause then they get complacent.
Apart from doom I'm not really bothered overall. Good play by microsoft I guess
I have a pretty good gaming PC so this won’t affect me much If there would be anything I wanted to play from Microsoft. I will just never ever get an X box.
Just waiting for a chance to finally get my hand on a PS5 now, it will be a long wait....
@Ryu_Niiyama I think the answer to your parenthetical question is is in the post directly below you. There have been rumors of a GamePass app for Switch for some time. So it is something that could come to the system.
Also, there have been Bethesda games/ports on the Switch this generation, so that is also related to this.
Generally though you have a point. For the most part, this has not been a lot by Bethesda on Nintendo systems.
As long as stuff like doom eternal keeps coming our way, i can live with it
I have Game Pass for PC and I can buy games, not only rent them. Game Pass subscription also gives me about 10% discount on games if I want to buy them. But I prefer to just play for a fee - I rarely replay games (to be true, I usually finish less than 10% of games I've played). Just look at Game Pass as a subscription for a prolonged trial and some discounts in their game store.
Game Pass is on PC - I don't have an Xbox, but I have Game Pass for PC for $5/month.
I bet Microsoft bought Bethesda only because Phil Spencer believes the Nintendo Switch can run The Elder Scrolls VI. He just really really really wants to play it on vacation.
@GameOtaku Exactly this. I have, in one form another, nearly every Fallout and Elder Scrolls title, but if Bethesda never released another game on Switch, HD remakes of 3/New Vegas or even versions of the first two in the series would make me very happy.
@monterxz the games I will miss are wolfenstein and doom. Fallout 76 Has put me off the franchise, but I'm sure the announcement trailer for fallout 4 would win me back.
That said there are so many games these days, between switch and playstation. I’d likely just hold out hope for a switch port (maybe have a pro or switch 2 by this point)
Well yeah, lol, Gamepass *not on Switch is the obvious most likely outcome here; however, I reject the idea that it's not possible.
MS has nearly unlimited spending power, should they choose to use it. Nintendo could have MS rebuild their prehistoric online services as a trade off or (at least) negotiate access to chat services and matchmaking. MS could offer up cloud services to Nintendo, and not just for gaming, but to their entire organization. Again, the easy prediction is "Nah!" but it doesn't seem so far fetched to me.
@TheLightSpirit that is pretty much what Spencer is saying. Only platforms where game pass is so Xbox, PC, and mobile devices. So I think no more Bethesda games for PlayStation and Nintendo.
Microsoft says only future Bethesda games will be Xbox exclusive. BUT they didn’t say older ones cannot come to NS
We can still ask for Fallout or The Evil Within for switch still. They are older games. And the rule says future games cannot but they didn’t say that older games can’t come
@monterxz So if Game Pass is discontinued you would still be able to access and play the games you bought there? They are not tied to an account, login or such?
@K1LLEGAL I get you! I’m mainly talking distant future.
@anoyonmus ” We can still ask for Fallout or The Evil Within for switch still. They are older games. And the rule says future games cannot but they didn’t say that older games can’t come“
It won’t happen.
@Galaxyman88 who knows. We just have to ask. U never know
@anoyonmus This isn’t rocket science. They are not going to work on old ports only few people on internet cares about.
@koekiemonster Hey, it's how it is. But I find it gross.
@K1LLEGAL Yeah, maybe.
Game Pass is not a store itself, it's a subscription to play about 300 games from Microsoft store without buying them but for a monthly fee.
I thought the stumbling block for Game Pass on Switch was that it would bypass Nintendo's controls on selling individual games e.g. age ratings? (I know Nintendo don't set the age ratings, but they use those to control sale, and parental controls on the Switch itself)
This all is not surprising. Microsoft paid a lot of money for Bethesda just so they could have exclusives, much like they purchased Rare back in the day. Eventually, this is going to become more the norm as each console tries to lock up more exclusives and gain an edge over the other. Hence why Nintendo purchased Monolith in 2007 and has acquired other developers along the way.
The costs are too high and the risks are too steep for them to not do this now. Plus this makes Game Pass more appealing, like how Disney is leveraging the Disney/Marvel/Star Wars properties to make Disney+ more appealing.
yeah Starfield is Xbox exclusive now. When they announced the deal, it showed which games would be now exclusive.
@Imerion you would still have access to any games you buy beyond the most extreme exceptions. I can still play the XBLA arcade games I bought for 400 microsoft points back in 2006. Gamepass doesn’t take away from that at all.
@monterxz For now. Eventually the goal is you don't buy games, but rent them.
The price will go up.
Really doesn't affect me, personally, if they're all gonna hit Gamepass. I have a PC, so I'll still have access to anything they put out that I want.
I wonder what else Gamepass is coming to, given how vague he's being about 'other platforms' getting it.
Fair enough. Microsoft was really in need of more killer apps this generation, Sony's had a good amount for a few generations-Metal Gear Solid, Uncharted, Quantic Dream, Ratchet, God of War, (and yes, Death Stranding) were what made me move to Playstation and the lack of competition has seemingly made them complacent for the PS5. It's good to see that Microsoft is ramping up because while I probably won't be moving to Xbox, competition is good in this realm.
You can buy everything on Game Pass outside of Game Pass. You also don’t need an Xbox to access these games as they’ll be on PC and Streaming through Game Pass.
Microsoft made $44 billion net profit last Financial Year. They have $135 billion cash in the bank. They have no financial issues whatsoever.
Game Pass is due on Windows soon and via a Browser which would open it up to iOS.
“ Do people even know what Game Pass is?”
It would seem the answer in a lot of cases is no, to my surprise.
This is a major bummer to the gaming world. I hate exclusives. Starfield, Elder Scrolls 6, fallout 5 will all end up being xbox and pc exclusive.
I was very resistant to the idea of Game Pass, but I gave it a go when I bought a Series X, £70 for two years is very easy to come by and it’s insane value with EA Play thrown in too. Played so many games I’d never have bought, and saved so much by not having to to buy many games I wanted to play. Don’t care at all about ‘ownership’ when most games, TV shows and movies are one time things for me. I can buy those rare exceptions.
Yeah im fine with this.
I prefer Microsoft over Sony and Bethesda won't need to focus on making games work on Nintendo's gimped hardware.
In just glad we got doom, doom eternal and doom 64 before this all happened
@westman98 given that the last elder scrolls game came out nearly 10 years ago and the new one is still in development I can't see them being seething about a series where we might see one game in the next decade or so.
I think MS stand to lose more here unless they can claim another 10 million subs for game pass by the time it is released (shouldn't be difficult). Other than that I don't really think either side cares. I could play Elder Scrolls 6 on my XSX but I'm not that hyped for it even though I love the series.
Sony went from getting all new Bethesda games day-and-date to now getting none of them.
There is no way Sony is happy about this. Mind you, neither is Nintendo, but it's not nearly as big of a deal given that 3rd party content doesn't carry their success nearly as much as it does for PlayStation.
It will definitely affect them 100% I just don't think it will affect them as much as a lot of the articles are making out. A lot of the major Bethesda games like ES and Fallout are so much better on PC anyway.
I guess it comes down to how each individual rates the games but I prefer Nintendo and Sony first part games over any of the Bethesda games and I don't say that easily as I've had a lot of fun with Skyrim, Oblivion and New Vegas.
Just to be clear I have all 3 consoles so I have no stake in the console wars. Just voicing my opinion. To play devil's advocate it is a big win for xbox and an excellent addition to their first party collection.
No longer having access to Bethesda's entire catalog of content is a objectively huge deal for Sony.
Game Pass is a rotating collection of games - periodically new games are added, old ones are removed. It's more like a trial to try out games before you actually buy them (you still can buy them right away if you want). Please, read about what Game Pass is before making conclusions.
@monterxz I'm talking of the future, not now.
We'll see in the future. For now, I'll just enjoy a lot of games on my new Xbox that I was lucky to buy last friday.
I have Game Pass Ultimate, but I tend to buy all the games I like eventually anyway so I am not a fan of this. Sure, this could at least be somewhat alleviated on the Switch and PlayStation if both Nintendo and Sony would agree to allow Microsoft to release a Game Pass app on their consoles (which IMO overall would be a good thing, but WTF are the chances of THAT happening any time soon?), but how would it be provided? Natively, cool--if the hardware supports it. Cloud-based? Boo--keep that s*** off my console.
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