This was hinted at in Microsoft’s recent filing with UK regulators The Elder Scrolls VI possibly exclusive to Xbox and PC.
In this filing, Microsoft refers to the fantasy role-playing game as a “medium-sized game,” justifying its potential isolation from PlayStation or Nintendo consoles. This classification puts the title in the same territory as Minecraft, which has remained cross-platform since Microsoft acquired it in 2014.
Should Microsoft shut down The Elder Scrolls VI for Xbox, it would arguably be one of the biggest selling points for the Xbox ecosystem and its Game Pass service. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim has had a long life for the last 11 years, and its direct sequel would serve as a strong incentive to buy Xboxes or get PC gamers to become Game Pass subscribers.
However, Microsoft also used this incoming title as proof that it would not ban Activision Blizzards call of Duty. Those games, the Xbox maker said, have mass-market appeal and medium- or low-priced exclusivity potential.
In a chart showing which games warrant exclusivity, Microsoft said that a game’s value “has no linear relationship to the game’s popularity.”
This can serve as additional justification for Microsoft Elder Scrolls exclusive. The franchise may remain partially cross-platform due to frequent re-releases Skyrim and The Elder Scrolls On-line, but that doesn’t quite mean it’s popular enough for future installments to come out on other consoles.
Xbox’s decision-making for Bethesda games remains unclear
The Elder Scrolls VI was a common point of discussion following Microsoft’s acquisition of Bethesda. In the past, Microsoft said it would determine exclusivity for games developed by its subsidiary on a case-by-case basis.
So far, the only Bethesda titles that are finally exclusive to Microsoft are those from 2023 starfield and redfall by Arkane Studios. Since these titles are completely new properties, they are exclusive, so they land on a specific target group of players.
And there both Ghostwire: Tokyo and death loop With both coming to Xbox after previously being exclusive to PlayStation, Microsoft has officially fulfilled Bethesda’s pre-merger commitments with Sony. That means it’s now free to dictate which systems will receive Bethesda’s future titles.
Microsoft thinks so The Elder Scrolls VI being a medium sized game is surprising to say the least. Skyrim is one of the best-selling video games in history and has enough broader cultural relevance that the franchise more than deserves to remain cross-platform.