Microsoft says three future Bethesda games will be exclusive to PC and Xbox

Microsoft has issued a statement to the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) regarding its proposed acquisition of Overwatch, World of Warcraft, and Call of Duty owner Activision Blizzard, in which the company describes how three future Bethesda games, potentially the Starfield RPG, vampire shooter Redfall, and the Skyrim sequel The Elder Scrolls 6, will be exclusives to PC and Xbox.

In early December, the FTC filed an antitrust lawsuit against the Microsoft Activision Blizzard settlement, alleging that it could harm consumers and competition in the video game industry. This was followed by a civil lawsuit from a group of ten “gamers”, also arguing that the settlement would be detrimental to the gaming market.

Microsoft has now issued a response to the FTC’s lawsuit, outlining its plans for future Bethesda games, having bought the studio’s parent company ZeniMax Media in 2020.

“The complaint’s reference to Microsoft’s recent acquisition of ZeniMax, a set of gaming studios acquired in 2020, has no relevance to the current transaction,” Microsoft says, referring to the lawsuit filed by the FTC. “Xbox anticipates that three future titles, all designed to be played primarily solo or in small groups, will be exclusive to Xbox and PC.”

The names of the titles are redacted from the publicly viewable version of Microsoft’s statement, but space RPG Starfield and vampire co-op shooter Redfall have already been confirmed as exclusive to the company’s platforms when they launch in 2023. However , the third “future title” could well be Skyrim’s successor, The Elder Scrolls 6. In November 2021, Microsoft game chief Phil Spencer gave an interview to GQ and hinted at the possibility that The Elder Scrolls 6 be exclusive to PC and Xbox.

“This is not about punishing any other platform, I fundamentally believe that all platforms can continue to grow,” Spencer said. “But to be on Xbox, I want us to be able to bring the complete full package of what we have. And that would be true when I think of Elder Scrolls 6. That would be true when I think of any of our franchises.”

Microsoft’s statement to the FTC also addresses the possibility of Call of Duty becoming a PC and Xbox exclusive, should the roughly $69 billion dollar acquisition of Activision Blizzard be successful.

“Keeping Activision games widely available is good business and good for gamers,” Microsoft says. “Paying $68.7 billion for Activision doesn’t make financial sense if that revenue stream goes away. Nor would it make sense to degrade the gaming experience and alienate the millions of Call of Duty players who play together using different types of consoles. The hit to Xbox’s reputation would not be worth any theoretical economic benefit from taking Call of Duty away from competitors.”

Microsoft further argues that the FTC “cannot meet its burden of showing that the transaction would leave consumers worse off,” and argues that the relief described in the FTC’s filing should be denied.


Microsoft says three future Bethesda games will be exclusive to PC and Xbox