Following Monday’s major news that Microsoft has acquired Zenimax Media means that an Elder Scrolls 6 for PS5 release could be in jeopardy.
In case you aren’t aware, Zenimax media is the parent company of many game studios including Bethesda Softworks that develops the Elder Scrolls series of games.
Essentially, Microsoft now owns The Elder Scrolls franchise as well as many others, which could see the end of them on PlayStation should Microsoft wish to do so.
iD Software also comes with Zenimax Media so the DOOM series could also see itself as an Xbox exclusive.
Other major franchises from Zenimax developers include The Evil Within from Tango Gameworks, Wolfenstein from Machine Games and Dishonored from Arkane Studios.
What this means for the future of these franchises is anyone’s guess and recent statements from Microsoft and Zenimax haven’t done much to quell people’s fears.
Speaking about the future of Bethesda’s scheduled releases, Phil Spencer, the current Executive V.P of Xbox stated:
“We’ll take other consoles on a case-by-case basis.”
This indicates that Microsoft currently has no plan to release further Elder Scrolls titles on PlayStation unless some kind of deal could be arranged with Sony.
However, given the fierce rivalry between the two consoles, fuelled by immature gamers, this seems unlikely as Microsoft will want to capitalize on their $7.5 billion acquisition with major exclusives.
There are very few game series as major as The Elder Scrolls and DOOM.
The good news for PlayStation gamers however is that Microsoft has agreed to honor any existing upcoming releases and even timed exclusives for PlayStation that have already been agreed upon before their purchase of Zenimax.
This includes Deathloop and Ghostwire: Tokyo both of which are being published by Bethesda and were major players in recent PS5 showcase events.
Reportedly, the company has also agreed to continue Elder Scrolls Online for PlayStation 4 but has not commented on the future of Elder Scrolls Online for PS5, which was reportedly set to receive a free next-gen upgrade.
The major news for Xbox fans is that all future games from any of the Zenimax developers is that they will all be available as part of Xbox Game Pass on their release dates.
Xbox Game Pass is Microsoft’s game subscription service similar to PS Now which allows access to a huge library of games for a relatively small price of $9.99 per month for Xbox and PC gamers.
Although gamers don’t own the game, they can access them for as long as their subscription is active, and the money-saving potential is huge.
Especially considering that next-gen titles are to increase in price.
When all is said and done though, Microsoft might want to release future Elder Scrolls titles so as not to essentially half the franchise’s potential earnings.
The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim is one of the best-selling games of all time with a confirmed sales number of over 20 million.
Elder Scrolls Online also boasts between 20 and 30 thousand active players per month, many of which purchase in-game items and/or subscribe to the game.
Like other major online games, in-game purchases are a huge money maker for ESO, so, Microsoft might also not want to miss this earning opportunity.
Therefore, it would not make sense to alienate one half of the gamer market in the hope that they will move over to Xbox just to play some of their favorite games.
It just isn’t good business.
Given Zenimax’s owned game franchises, some of which are among the greatest games ever made, should Microsoft wish to keep them all as exclusives, only time will tell if gamers feel that buying an Xbox over a PlayStation will be worth it in the end.
The drama of this major acquisition is an ongoing story and I will report more news concerning the future of Elder Scrolls as and when it becomes available.
Michael is the sole writer and owner at chartxgames.com.
Many thought that his youth (and adulthood) playing video games was a waste of time but here he is writing about them for a living.
Michael has a background in IT and enjoys (apart from video games) building and repairing PC’s, digital artwork (Photoshop, 3DS Max) and has interests in too many subjects to mention.