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Phil Spencer Believes It's Possible to Recoup $7.5B Bethesda Purchase Without Elder Scrolls VI on PlayStation

..but it's not straightforward

Poorna Shankar Posted:
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Remember Microsoft’s $7.5 billion purchase of Zenimax Media and their child companies, including Bethesda Softworks? A new interview from Kotaku with Phil Spencer sheds some more light on that.

Phil Spencer had previously stated to Bloomberg that they’d consider releasing Zenimax games on other consoles on a “case by case basis.” To that end Kotaku asked Phil Spencer straight up if he believes it’s possible for Microsoft to recoup that $7.5 billion acquisition without selling Elder Scrolls VI to PlayStation. To that end, Phil Spencer replied plainly, “Yes.”

He further expanded on this, explaining that the acquisition wasn’t made with restricting certain gamers from playing games,

“I don’t want to be flip about that. This deal was not done to take games away from another player base like that. Nowhere in the documentation that we put together was: ‘How do we keep other players from playing these games?’ We want more people to be able to play games, not fewer people to be able to go play games.”

He continued, stating that he (and presumably Microsoft) doesn’t have to ship these games for other platforms,

“But I’ll also say in the model—I’m just answering directly the question that you had—when I think about where people are going to be playing and the number of devices that we had, and we have xCloud and PC and Game Pass and our console base, I don’t have to go ship those games on any other platform other than the platforms that we support in order to kind of make the deal work for us. Whatever that means.”

That last bit seems to not really provide a straightforward answer as it sounds like Phil Spencer is saying that he doesn’t want to restrict games from other gamers, but doesn’t have to ship those games to other platforms to “make the deal work for us.” If anything, it raises more questions than it was intended to answer.


Poorna Shankar

A highly opinionated avid PC gamer, Poorna blindly panics with his friends in various multiplayer games, much to the detriment of his team. Constantly questioning industry practices and a passion for technological progress drive his love for the video game industry. He pulls no punches and tells it like he sees it. He runs a podcast, Gaming The Industry, with fellow writer, Joseph Bradford, discussing industry practices and their effects on consumers.