Well, no surprises here, as FTC takes on Microsoft for making titles like Elder Scrolls VI and Starfield exclusives for the Xbox.
Officials from the FTC have confirmed that the upcoming Elder Scrolls VI from ZeniMax Media will be an Xbox and Microsoft exclusive. In the complaint that the FTC filed to block Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision-Blizzard, the commission has now stated that The Elder Scrolls VI will be exclusive to Xbox and PC, suggesting that Microsoft is keeping franchises from competing consoles in order to gain a competitive advantage.
Even more saddening for PlayStation gamers is the news that Bethesda’s Starfield and Redfall will be following in the same footsteps. This, however, shouldn’t be surprising, as earlier on when Microsoft acquired Bethesda, Phil Spencer, head of Xbox, stated that “With the addition of the Bethesda creative teams, gamers should know that Xbox consoles, PC, and Game Pass will be the finest place to experience new Bethesda games.”
if you’re an Xbox user, the thing I want you to know is that this is about delivering terrific exclusive titles for you that ship on platforms where Game Pass exists. That’s what we’re working for, and it’s the foundation of the relationship we’re forming.”
Following the acquisition, Phil said that Elder Scrolls would be similar to Skyrim, which has sold over 30 million copies, making it one of the best-selling games and its exclusivity to Xbox will give Microsoft an undeniable competitive edge. Stating this, FTC reports that Microsoft can’t be trusted. Below this will find the extract from the complaint that mentions this:
Microsoft’s past conduct provides a preview of the combined firm’s likely plans if it consummates the Proposed Acquisition, despite any assurances the company may offer regarding its plans. In March 2021, Microsoft acquired ZeniMax Media Inc. (“ZeniMax”), the parent company of the well-known game developer and publisher Bethesda Softworks LLC (“Bethesda”). Microsoft assured the European Commission (“EC”) during its antitrust review of the ZeniMax purchase that Microsoft would not have the incentive to withhold ZeniMax titles from rival consoles. But, shortly after the EC cleared the transaction, Microsoft made public its decision to make several of the newly acquired ZeniMax titles, including Starfield, Redfall, and Elder Scrolls VI, Microsoft exclusives.”
Microsoft has responded to the FTC, but it remains to be seen how this particular situation plays out, as there is almost no chance that these titles will be released on other platforms, given that they have been confirmed as exclusives for quite some time. In terms of Microsoft suppressing their competition, they have already stated that they will provide 10-year exclusivity to games such as Call of Duty, even going so far as to say that the title will be brought to the Nintendo Switch.
However, let us know what you think about this whole situation, and if you believe that Microsoft is at fault here by making some games exclusive for its platform. Elder Scrolls is not going to be released for a very long time, possibly not before the year 2025.