The week is off to a busy start with the massive news that Microsoft has purchased ZeniMax Media and, by extension, Bethesda Softworks and its many game studios. That puts franchises like Elder Scrolls, Fallout, Doom, and others under the Xbox Game Studios umbrella, calling into question what exclusivity might look like for these big-name franchises as we enter the new generation. In the more immediate future, it also raises the issue of what happens with a pair of Bethesda-published games that were previously set to debut exclusively on PC and PS5: Deathloop and Ghostwire: Tokyo.
The official statements from Xbox, Microsoft, and Bethesda unfortunately don’t offer any answers at this point. One aspect of the $7.5 billion deal that has been confirmed is that future games from Bethesda will launch on Xbox Game Pass on the day of their release, whether that’s on Xbox or PC. Starfield is one such game explicitly confirmed to be hitting Game Pass on day one, and it seems safe to assume the same will be true for other, unannounced projects, like the inevitable Fallout 5.
But those games are still far away. More pressing is what happens to Deathloop and Ghostwire: Tokyo, two games set for 2021 releases (following Deathloop’s recent delay) on PS5, but not Xbox Series X and Series S. There are unfortunately no answers here yet, and we don’t know the details of Sony’s arrangement–and specifically whether there is some way for Microsoft to pay its way out of the exclusivity.