Microsoft's Bethesda acquisition was about exclusives for Game Pass

Microsoft's Bethesda acquisition was about exclusives for Game Pass

The head of Microsoft's games business Phil Spencer has said that the company's multi-billion dollar acquisition of ZeniMax Media was about getting more exclusives for its Game Pass subscription service.

Speaking during a roundtable about the deal – as reported by The Verge – Spencer said that while not all Bethesda titles were going to be exclusive to Xbox platforms, the "root" of the acquisition was making sure Game Pass subscribers had more content.

"So obviously I can’t sit here and say every Bethesda game is exclusive, because we know that’s not true," Spencer said.

"There’s contractual obligations that we’re going to see through, as we always do in every one of these instances. We have games that exist on other platforms, and we’re gonna go support those games on the platforms they’re on. There’s communities of players and we love those communities and we’ll continue to invest in them. And even in the future there might be things that have contractual things, or legacy on different platforms that we’ll go do.

"But if you’re an Xbox customer, the thing I want you to know is that this is about delivering great exclusive games for you that ship on platforms where Game Pass exists. That’s our goal, that’s why we’re doing this, that’s the root of this partnership that we’re building."

Microsoft announced in September that it intended to buy ZeniMax Media for $7.5 billion. That deal closed this week, with the Big M saying that some future Bethesda titles would be exclusive to PC and Xbox consoles.

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.