Microsoft CFO says Bethsoft IPs can still go cross-platform but also wants new games ‘first, better, or best’ on Microsoft

    
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Years and years.

As the news of Microsoft’s acquisition of ZeniMax Media, Bethesda Softworks, and its various studios has settled in, there’s been one niggling point that’s sort of hung in the air: whether Bethsoft’s IPs will be allowed to flourish on other platforms or they’ll be Xbox and Microsoft exclusives. During last week’s Jefferies Interactive Entertainment conference, Microsoft chief financial officer Tim Stuart spoke a bit about that matter, effectively saying “yes but no” in a sense:

“The goal here is, we’re — I’ll say it from a cross-platform perspective. Microsoft is a platform. We’re one of the first to really support Minecraft, Roadblock, Fortnite across platforms. So we highly encourage cross-platform play, simply from this landscape of, if it’s good for the gaming ecosystem, it’s good for us, classic rising tide lifts all boats.

“What we’ll do in the long run is we don’t have intentions of just pulling all of Bethesda content out of Sony or Nintendo or otherwise. But what we want is we want that content, in the long run, to be either first or better or best or pick your differentiated experience, on our platforms. We will want Bethesda content to show up the best as — on our platforms.

“Yes. That’s not a point about being exclusive. That’s not a point about we’re being — adjusting timing or content or road map. But if you think about something like Game Pass, if it shows up best in Game Pass, that’s what we want to see, and we want to drive our Game Pass subscriber base through that Bethesda pipeline.

“So again, I’m not announcing pulling content from platforms one way or the other. But I suspect you’ll continue to see us shift towards a first or better or best approach on our platforms.”

Stuart once again seems to reiterate the “case by case basis” mantra that’s been mentioned in interviews by others like Tim Howard, saying that Bethsoft will “continue to sell [its] games on the platforms [where] they exist today” while also saying Microsoft will “determine what that looks over time and will change over time.”

“I’m not making any announcements about exclusivity or something like that,” he said. “But that model will change.”

The ultimate point, according to Stuart, is to further bolster Microsoft Game Pass by expanding the games it offers and continuing to be “acquisitive,” all as part of what he refers to as Microsoft’s “North Star” strategy.

“It’s about how do you take that content and put it into a service like Game Pass to drive that subscription of the North Star metric? So I think the long — the short answer to your question is we’ll continue to look at content, we will continue to look at bolstering our first-party studios. And as always, if the right value is there with the right content creators with the right IP, we’ll continue to look at opportunities like that.”

source: Seeking Alpha via VG247
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Robert Mann

Microsoft, you can bring it outside the Window’s Store, without a time delay to promote yourselves, or you can NOPE right out of here. I’d rather simply avoid your product, if you feel the need to push for your subscription service, your storefront, whatever that way.

Developers and publishers, you can go that route if you wish, but once again you will see me not buying even when you decide that other markets might bring you some profit. Your choice to take something that doesn’t need a coding overhaul for a platform (PC is a platform, Xbox is a platform, MS is a company NOT a platform) and not release it merely shows me that you have no regard for the people who would use your product.

Since you don’t care about the customer, the customer (in this case me) has every right and choice to decide not to care about you…

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Kanbe

I keep looking for the line, “Do you guys not have Xboxes?”

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Adam Russell

When they try to make it equal then usually PC get short shrift. Glad thats not happening. Dont handicap the pc version to make it compatible with playstation/xbox/whatever

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treehuggerhannah

I’ll be annoyed if this negatively affects PC players. I can understand (not saying agree with, but understand) why they aren’t super excited to develop for competitor consoles, but my PC runs a Microsoft operating system. If they’re only interested in part of their own customer base now, I will be frustrated.

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laelgon

I don’t think that’s something to worry about. Pretty much every game under the Microsoft umbrella has been simultaneously releasing on Xbox and PC. I’m more worried over what will happen with the modding scene.

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Rodrigo Dias Costa

It seems some PC Game Pass games offer mod support. Not a Steam Workshop-like solution, but it does give you access for modifing the files.

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Tanek

Having it first one a platform is one thing. When you start to go for “better or best” on a platform, though, that implies to me that the games will be cut back somehow on other platforms.

Looks like Spider-man being platform exclusive content was just the start of a new war that will end up hurting all of the players eventually.

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Schlag Sweetleaf

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Castagere Shaikura

They spent 7 billion dollars. From now on everything will be Xbox exclusive first. They did the same thing with PSO2. I don’t see how this could surprise anyone. This also means that Bethesda games will be ports to other platforms including pc.

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Kawaii Five-O

As far as ports are concerned, that has been the case since TES IV: Oblivion, as it was designed specifically with the Xbox 360 architecture in mind. So, nothing new in that regard.

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Sarah Cushaway

LOL well, that’s the end of me buying ES: 6 I guess. Fuck Microsoft. Fuck Bethesda anyway for becoming a shill company.

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James Balmer

Just play it on PC.

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Bryan Correll

As long as ‘best’ refers to the PC versions….

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Bruno Brito

Them trying to spin this as PR for gamers is absolutely precious.