Starfield PS5 Console Exclusivity Bethesda Sony 1
Image: Push Square

At the beginning of the generation, there were rumours that Sony was acting incredibly aggressively, attempting to sign console exclusives with as many publishers as possible. Ultimately, we’ve seen evidence of that, with the likes of Deathloop, Ghostwire Tokyo, and more recently Final Fantasy 16 all launching first on PS5.

And in the FTC’s ongoing court case against Microsoft, as it seeks to temporarily halt the trillion dollar tech titan’s $69 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard, chatty Xbox exec Phil Spencer alleged that one of his company’s motivations for buying Bethesda was to block Sony from securing console exclusivity on Starfield.

“When we acquired [Bethesda’s parent company] Zenimax, one of the impetus for that was that Sony had done a deal for Deathloop and Ghostwire: Tokyo and effectively paid Bethesda to not ship those games on Xbox, so the discussion about Starfield when we heard that it was potentially also going to end up skipping Xbox was we can’t be in a position as a third-place console where we fall further behind,” he said.

Spencer didn’t bring any receipts, so it’s unclear what kind of information his company was acting on, although seeing as this isn’t the first time we’ve heard this story, it’s probably safe to assume Sony really was in negotiations regarding console exclusivity for Starfield. Assuming the deal was the same or similar to Deathloop and Ghostwire: Tokyo, it probably would have been one-year timed console exclusivity.

Of course, following Microsoft’s $7.5 billion buyout of the publisher, the game will never release on PlayStation at all now – and nor will any of Bethesda’s other games, like Indiana Jones. We’ll let you decide the lesser of the two evils – either way, it’s interesting to hear the Redmond firm’s motivation for the buyout.

[source, via]