Microsoft says Bethesda games will be "first or better" on Xbox platforms

Microsoft says Bethesda games will be "first or better" on Xbox platforms

Software giant Microsoft has said that it isn't going to be making games from the recently-acquired Bethesda parent ZeniMax Media exclusive to its own platforms.

That's according to the company's CFO Tim Stuart, who said in an interview at the Jefferies Interactive Entertainment Virtual Conference – as transcribed by Seeking Alpha – that the intention was to still release these titles on other platforms. But the exec did say that the Xbox firm would want Bethesda's content to either come first to its services or that the version that comes to its ecosystem is the best around.

This is, interestingly, the same strategy that Microsoft has with indie games as part of its ID@Xbox scheme.

"We don't have intentions of just pulling all of Bethesda content out of Sony or Nintendo or otherwise," Stuart said.

"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.

"That's not a point about being exclusive. That's not a point about 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."

Microsoft announced in September that it was buying ZeniMax in $7.5bn.

PCGamesInsider Contributing Editor

Alex Calvin is a freelance journalist who writes about the business of games. He started out at UK trade paper MCV in 2013 and left as deputy editor over three years later. In June 2017, he joined Steel Media as the editor for new site In October 2019 he left this full-time position at the company but still contributes to the site on a daily basis. He has also written for, VGC, Games London, The Observer/Guardian and Esquire UK.