Which Bethesda Titles Will Be Exclusive To Xbox?
The massive Xbox and Bethesda merger that finalised earlier this year is a delight for some, and a potential nightmare for others. While Xbox users can look forward to upcoming Bethesda titles and be excited to give them a whirl, PlayStation users don’t have the same luxury. There’s a lot of concern in pockets of the gaming community that the huge merger could severely limit how many titles the games company produces with consoles other than the Xbox in mind, meaning that some may not be able to play them at all. And with Bethesda producing such monolith titles as the Elder Scrolls and Fallout series, a lot hangs in the balance as part of this merger.
So, judging by rumours, game popularity, and other factors, how likely is it that Bethesda’s premiere titles will be coming to Xbox alone?
Will The Elder Scrolls VI Be Xbox Exclusive?
The Elder Scrolls is without a doubt Bethesda’s most popular series. Birthing one of gaming’s ultimate triumphs and potentially the most ported game ever, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim has done it wonders, and has made it a gaming legend.
Of all of Bethesda’s works, the next mainline title in the Elder Scrolls series is probably the least likely to be restricted to an Xbox exclusive release. Xbox boss Phil Spencer stated that he believed it was possible to recoup the $7.5 billion investment in Bethesda even without selling Elder Scrolls VI on PlayStation consoles, but even so, money isn’t the problem here. Fan uproar would be immense, and as many fans of the series have been dreading the news that they wouldn’t get to return to Tamriel on their PS5s, the fury would be something unseen by the world of gaming before. It’s certainly in Bethesda’s interests to make this release cross-platform, otherwise, the company’s reputation could finally plunge off the deep end, and in turn, Xbox would suffer too.
Will The Next Fallout Game Be Xbox Exclusive?
It’s easy to say that the post-apocalyptic RPG Fallout would go the same way as Elder Scrolls due to its popularity - but the series’ recent missteps could spell an exclusivity deal for a return to the wasteland. Fallout 76 tore Bethesda fans’ faith to shreds, offering fans a full-price disaster that was hardly playable and intensely unenjoyable. The charm of the world was gone, and in its place was a micro-transaction-laden splatter of lost hope and carelessness that not even comprehensive updates and patches could remedy.
The series still has its fans, as it has produced some of the best RPGs the 21st century has seen yet, but now its future is uncertain. Bethesda need to pull out something magnanimous to give fans faith again, and to do so, it’d have to be available on as many consoles as possible, ruling out an Xbox exclusivity deal. If the company tried on a similar experimental approach to Fallout 76 or brought out another spinoff as they did with Fallout Shelter, maybe Xbox can claim ownership, but until Fallout can prove itself again, it should be open to the people.
Is Deathloop An Xbox Exclusive?
Well, this is an easy one. The new time-bending tactical shooter title Deathloop is one that’s been hugely exciting for fans, but not only for its gameplay. Arkane Studios’ game is set to be an exclusive title for the PS5, and isn’t coming to the Xbox at all. Whether it comes to the platform later down the line is up the Bethesda and Sony (contract pending), but in the meantime, Deathloop is just for you PlayStation fans, in what could be an exclusive that is the very last of its kind.
Will Starfield Be Xbox Exclusive?
Starfield is the newest title by Bethesda and has been in the making for some time. The new IP is set to bring RPG gameplay to the expanse of space, and it’s got a lot of fans excited. A lot of rumours are circulating as to the game’s presence on other consoles, and with confirmation from an industry insider that should be taken with a pinch of salt, it still seems likely that the new title will be exclusive to the Xbox. It makes sense, really - there’s no distinct pressure for the game to come to PlayStation yet as we haven’t even seen any gameplay, and if the game is a huge success, it will do so under the Xbox and cause a lot of influence in console sales for Microsoft.
Many are excited to see what Bethesda has been tinkering with for the last few years, but the success of Starfield would be a huge buff to Xbox and telling of why Microsoft was so excited to engorge Bethesda in the first place.
Will The Next DOOM Game Be Xbox Exclusive?
The DOOM series is probably Bethesda’s biggest series outside of its two titans leading the charge. The 2016 reboot of the classic franchise was a hit, and its sequel Doom Eternal solidified this gaming comeback as one of the most poignant in recent years. It’s become a big deal over the last five years, but big enough to warrant a multi-console rollout for a sequel? Maybe not.
The demon-blasting FPS has certainly rediscovered its fans and its place in the gaming continuity, but it’s probably in Xbox’s best interests to hang onto it. Doom Eternal sold 3 million copies in its first week, with a wealthy chunk of those sales being on Xbox consoles. Of course, a sequel would likely sell a pinch less than this, but it’d more than make up for these numbers with the sum of players willing to bag a Series X or Series S in order to play it. It’s got the perfect balance of player-base and sales numbers to keep a hold of it for Xbox exclusivity without promoting massive fan backlash.
Will The Next Wolfenstein Game Be Xbox Exclusive?
Wolfenstein’s trajectory is similar to that of DOOM, with both series reviving a classic shooter franchise and modernising its features. While the latter focused on violence and splatters of viscera, the former expanded its story to analyse the throes of a world under Nazi occupation. The rebooted title and its sequel, The New Colossus, sold well and performed formidably critically, but again, it might not be a big enough title to warrant an outsource to other consoles. It seems like the perfect Xbox exclusive title, one that straddles shooter aspects and a dense story just as the Halo did upon its groundbreaking launch.
Will The Next Rage Be Xbox Exclusive?
Finally, it would make sense for Bethesda to offer up one of their titles as collateral to cross-platform release to fan the flames of backlash and say on record that one of their titles would be available anywhere, so at least not all of their titles are locked to Xbox. Rage seems like this kind of collateral - it’s a versatile game, an FPS with enough blasting colours and chaotic vehicular mash-ups to be a fun banger across the board. If this weren’t a tactic Bethesda was planning at all, then the series’ domain would likely remain with Xbox, but if they wanted to take the plunge and offer an olive branch to PlayStation die-hards, Rage is the series for it.
These are our assumptions on where Bethesda's titles could be stretched across consoles, but until we see some solid confirmation, we can't know for certain which titles will be left where. But one thing is for certain, whatever the outcome - Xbox fans will likely be very happy.
Images via Bethesda | Arkane Studios | Avalanche Studios Group | id Software