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Opinion Business Platform Xbox CFO Talks Bethesda Exclusivity; “We Want Bethesda Content to be First or Better or Best on Xbox Platforms”

Monsterkillah

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Well how about that. That thread I made awhile back was sure full of people telling me how dumb I was to think that any of these games will come to PlayStation. More and more it sounds like these games will launch first on Xbox and go elsewhere after or they'll have something to make people want to play them on Xbox. But it doesn't sound like they'll keep them off PlayStation.

Now wheres that thread you made bro?

Im gona screencap their comments..will be a funny looking one..:messenger_tears_of_joy:

And gona post it on the right moment when the inevitable news arrived😂
 
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Dabaus

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Xbox fanboys trying to explain away a crystal clear statement with "They cant say anything because the deal isnt finalized yet." Bro, theyre saying what they are now because they want to. If it wasnt legal to say anything they wouldnt be. Youll enjoy your elderscrolls 6 and fallout 5s just the same as would before but MS isnt going to cut off potentially billions in revenue so you can fanboy wars on game forums.
 
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Rhazer Fusion

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Again, they are vague with their statements. I’m guessing because the deal is still pending, but their wording is very strange and suspicious. Leads me to believe that there will be timed exclusives or “best experienced on XBOX” or something.

I feel that if they paid all that money to acquire a company, making those games multiplatform in any way, shape or form is moronic and essentially defeats the purpose of an acquisition. Financially I know it’s more money for Microsoft, but why not save a few billion and pay for timed exclusives on Gamepass first or something since these games were most like coming to your platform anyway?
 

Sethbacca

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Did anyone actually think they were going to stop milking the same game released 5 times across every platform in existence? Now pardon me while I play Skyrim on a graphing calculator.
 
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NickFire

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Again, they are vague with their statements. I’m guessing because the deal is still pending, but their wording is very strange and suspicious. Leads me to believe that there will be timed exclusives or “best experienced on XBOX” or something.

I feel that if they paid all that money to acquire a company, making those games multiplatform in any way, shape or form is moronic and essentially defeats the purpose of an acquisition. Financially I know it’s more money for Microsoft, but why not save a few billion and pay for timed exclusives on Gamepass first or something since these games were most like coming to your platform anyway?
With all due respect to everyone that thinks it would be cheaper to pay for timed exclusives, has anyone ever considered the possibility that owning the publisher (and carrying on business as usual while making everything gamepass day 1) might be far more lucrative and better for gamepass than renting timed exclusives for MS? I'm not challenging the general proposition that a few hundred million here and there would be cheaper than the overall purchase cost. But what does that really get MS? What happens when the deal expires and its subscribers still want to play the game. How would that sunk cost help make gamepass more attractive when the timed exclusive periods they would pay dearly for expire?
 
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TheContact

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I'd rather a game be exclusive to a console rather than making the game handicapped on other consoles.
 

ChuckeRearmed

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I wonder how many topics will be created regarding this. Topic for each interview and with the conversations that go nowhere where one side says that the games won't come to PS (like me) and other side says that they will come :messenger_tears_of_joy:

How many topics have we had since the acquisition?

P.s. Bethesda's games might be released on Switch via XCloud though. It seems Nintendo is open to cloud gaming these days.
 
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With all due respect to everyone that thinks it would be cheaper to pay for timed exclusives, has anyone ever considered the possibility that owning the publisher (and carrying on business as usual while making everything gamepass day 1) might be far more lucrative and better for gamepass than renting timed exclusives for MS? I'm not challenging the general proposition that a few hundred million here and there would be cheaper than the overall purchase cost. But what does that really get MS? What happens when the deal expires and its subscribers still want to play the game. How would that sunk cost help make gamepass more attractive when the timed exclusive period they would pay dearly for expire?

How does timed exclusivity help them? They get a one time hit of 70% of the sales that way. Thats it.

No one is going to buy a console for a timed exclusive. They'll just wait a year and play a patched version. Same thing I am doing for FF7 remake and FF16.
 

NickFire

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How does timed exclusivity help them? They get a one time hit of 70% of the sales that way. Thats it.

No one is going to buy a console for a timed exclusive. They'll just wait a year and play a patched version. Same thing I am doing for FF7 remake and FF16.
Timed exclusive has obviously been a benefit for a couple generations based on the industry practices. But that question is still essentially irrelevant because they are not buying timed exclusivity only.

Timed excusive and always free with gamepass > timed exclusive.

Timed exclusive plus 100% of profits across the board > timed exclsuive.
 

Elios83

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Seems like big releases will be timed exclusives but basically certain productions cost so much to make and they are already going to lose money putting them day one on Gamepass that eventually they'll need to sell them on other platforms at full price to make up for it.
We'll see what happens, in any case we're talking about 2023 and later games....
 

Hix

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Xbox fanboys trying to explain away a crystal clear statement with "They cant say anything because the deal isnt finalized yet." Bro, theyre saying what they are now because they want to.

Here's what he said
"I'm not making any announcements about exclusivity or something like that"

Here's what you are saying he said
"I'm making announcements about exclusivity and something like that."

MS isn't putting these games on PS5, nor any other of its IPs. They've shown a willingness to share with Nintendo some, but never, ever, have they let these types of games go to PlayStation, regardless of lost revenue. That's a fact.
 

Michael Hawk

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Jul 27, 2020
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So what does this rather vague phrasing mean for Bethesda titles on other platforms?

It means that before the deal is finalized they need to throw as many people as possible off their real intention, i.e. To create a monopoly of content in the videogame industry by acquiring as many content creators and publishers as possible and locking them behind The Netflix of Games™.

Frankly I don't understand why people are still clinging onto hope of Bethesda stuff coming to non-Xbox and non-PC platforms. It's like... why don't you just buy an Xbox or build a PC? When Nintendo locked up Bayonetta and when Sony locked up Spider-Man, the reality was that if you wanted to play those games you needed to buy a Switch or PS4. I'm sure there were non-Nintendo and non-PlayStation gamers who were furiously Twittering when those games got locked up, but given that nothing changed (i.e. exclusivity-wise) about those games then all of that Qwerty energy seems wasted.

Don't get me wrong, I understand how preferences and financial situations mean people don't want and or can't afford multiple consoles. But it seems to me that there are people who can 100% get an Xbox or gaming PC that are choosing to portbeg instead of just getting an Xbox or gaming PC. Maybe I'm looking at it wrong but the solution to playing Bethesda games is right in front of you.
 
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Forsythia

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They should just not answer any questions about this as long as the deal hasn't closed. And after that, they can announce Sony won't get any games besides ESO and Fallout 76. 😝
 

The Snooty Peasant

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It occurs to me this is yet another situation where the gamer loses. Even if there's timed exclusivity PS owners still have to wait ~1yr for release would be my guess. Or with full exclusivity they're either forced into puchasing the XBOX, GP or shelling out £90 on the PC version which might be their least favoured platform. I understand these are ultimately businesses and need to make money, but with the exponential rise in the cost to us as the consumer over recent years, with the ridiculous rise in DLC and micro-transactions we're being left with less and less options. Exclusives obviously are not a new thing, they've existed since the dawn of electronic gaming but we've gone far beyond Mario Kart only on the N64, we've reached a point whereby the games are going to suffer and this is a prime example in my opinion - if indeed Bethesda games are not released in full at any point on PS but are only released in part.
 

LittleBusters

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I think they can win if they provide at least 2 year exclusivity to Microsoft platforms, then go to Switch and after 3 years go to Playstation. So Playstation can get the games 4 years later.
 

Clear

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You do realise Microsoft has so much money that they could buy Sony ten times, if they were on sale right?

Bethesda wasn't about getting their money back. As I said previously, they will never get the 7. 5 billion back, even if they went multiplatform.

But explain to me, why should Microsoft invest 7.5 billion in Bethesda, if they release it on all platforms? I need to understand why Microsoft should buy a multiplatform studio if they kept being multiplatform.

Microsoft doesn't need money. They couldn't even feel the purchase of Bethesda. Microsoft is so much more than Xbox.

The main reason why MS have so much money is because they like making money! Lifetime exclusivity isn't especially profitable especially if porting can be done relatively cheaply, doubly so if the game itself is a service platform offering recurring revenue past initial sale because that's income per user.
 
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The main reason why MS have so much money is because they like making money! Lifetime exclusivity isn't especially profitable especially if porting can be done relatively cheaply, doubly so if the game itself is a service platform offering recurring revenue past initial sale because that's income per user.

You're right.

I am playing Halo and Gears on my PS5 right now.
 

FunkMiller

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Aww. I think it’s sweet that you all think Microsoft bought Bethesda because they’re worried about Sony.
 

The_Mike

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The main reason why MS have so much money is because they like making money! Lifetime exclusivity isn't especially profitable especially if porting can be done relatively cheaply, doubly so if the game itself is a service platform offering recurring revenue past initial sale because that's income per user.

Why doesn't Sony go multiplat? There's money on pc and Xbox to be earned.

Why doesn't Microsoft release Forza gears and halo when there's millions of ps players?
 
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oldergamer

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Xbox fanboys trying to explain away a crystal clear statement with "They cant say anything because the deal isnt finalized yet." Bro, theyre saying what they are now because they want to. If it wasnt legal to say anything they wouldnt be. Youll enjoy your elderscrolls 6 and fallout 5s just the same as would before but MS isnt going to cut off potentially billions in revenue so you can fanboy wars on game forums.
Cry moar?
 

Yoboman

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Everything they've hinted at is thsy Bethesda is pretty much going to operate as an autonomous company with the caveat that everything goes through Xbox first and that MS obviously reaps the risk and reward of their projects financially
 

Dabaus

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Here's what he said
"I'm not making any announcements about exclusivity or something like that"

Here's what you are saying he said
"I'm making announcements about exclusivity and something like that."


MS isn't putting these games on PS5, nor any other of its IPs. They've shown a willingness to share with Nintendo some, but never, ever, have they let these types of games go to PlayStation, regardless of lost revenue. That's a fact.
He IS making a statement though.

Cry moar?
What am I crying about?
 
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SlimeGooGoo

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Good Lord, people in this thread...

Microsoft is a service-based company now. As long as people and companies pay to use their services, they profit.

Playstation themselves pay Microsoft to host their PSNow service.

Microsoft will release some of their games on other platforms, such as Minecraft, Fallout, etc.

They will not release games which are heavily associated with Xbox or Windows, such as Forza, Age of Empires or Halo in order to reinforce their brand and its identity.

They're being vague because they're afraid that people might not buy Xbox or subscribe to GamePass if they're too direct about it.
Remember, as of now Playstation has a bigger userbase, so it's a valid concern.
 
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Slings and Arrows

Formerly 'Boswollocks'
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Away with the fairies
Here's what he said
"I'm not making any announcements about exclusivity or something like that"

Here's what you are saying he said
"I'm making announcements about exclusivity and something like that."

MS isn't putting these games on PS5, nor any other of its IPs. They've shown a willingness to share with Nintendo some, but never, ever, have they let these types of games go to PlayStation, regardless of lost revenue. That's a fact.
I'll bet you a lifetime ban that Bethesda games end up on PS5.

Gamepass exclusive first, maybe even timed exclusive DLC.

But if you think a business would ignore or leave out [potentially] 100+ million customers, then you're either really stupid, high or being paid to be really stupid.
 

Rhazer Fusion

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With all due respect to everyone that thinks it would be cheaper to pay for timed exclusives, has anyone ever considered the possibility that owning the publisher (and carrying on business as usual while making everything gamepass day 1) might be far more lucrative and better for gamepass than renting timed exclusives for MS? I'm not challenging the general proposition that a few hundred million here and there would be cheaper than the overall purchase cost. But what does that really get MS? What happens when the deal expires and its subscribers still want to play the game. How would that sunk cost help make gamepass more attractive when the timed exclusive periods they would pay dearly for expire?

It is better to own the company, but I feel owning a company means you should have access to all their properties exclusively especially if you want to attract people to your product. Imo, all this supposed uncertainty from Microsoft seems suspicious. If people know these games are coming to their platform of choice, they will probably just wait and not invest into the XBOX ecosystem.
 

Hix

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I'll bet you a lifetime ban that Bethesda games end up on PS5.

Gamepass exclusive first, maybe even timed exclusive DLC.

But if you think a business would ignore or leave out [potentially] 100+ million customers, then you're either really stupid, high or being paid to be really stupid.

Oh so the mask, and gloves, come off eh?

Timed exclusive DLC, on their own IP :messenger_tears_of_joy: you're out of your mind. Can't wait for God of War on Xbox, but don't worry, timed exclusive DLC and PS Plus for you Sony fans.

But seriously, imagine assuming, based off literally nothing, a business that didn't put any other of their IPs on PlayStation, changing that strategy now. Where's your PS4 Ori? 100+ million install base but somehow the 1.5 trillion dollar Microsoft see no need to let them have it. Your logic is not only flawed, it is deeply so.

With that, I'm all in. Here's the terms, The Elder Scrolls 6 never comes to PS5, not even down the road. Perm ban. You can contact a mod, but I trust you and you can trust me to honour it.
 
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FritzJ92

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The main reason why MS have so much money is because they like making money! Lifetime exclusivity isn't especially profitable especially if porting can be done relatively cheaply, doubly so if the game itself is a service platform offering recurring revenue past initial sale because that's income per user.
A life time customer is more valuable than a one time $70 transaction, just using your logic
 
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He added, “Microsoft is a platform. We're one of the first to really support Minecraft, Roadblock, Fortnite across platforms. So we highly encourage cross-platform play
He meant Roblox, didn't he?
Roblox and Fortnite are multi-platform games and Minecraft is a special case of a game that was already released on countless platforms before the acquisition. Do we now jump ship because of cross platform features?
 

Slings and Arrows

Formerly 'Boswollocks'
Apr 19, 2019
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Away with the fairies
Oh so the mask, and gloves, come off eh?

With that, I'm all in. Here's the terms, The Elder Scrolls 6 never comes to PS5, not even down the road. Perm ban. You can contact a mod, but I trust you and you can trust me to honour it.
Theatrics to get your attention

I respect your honour.

Time will decide the victor.
 
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Slings and Arrows

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Away with the fairies
He meant Roblox, didn't he?
Roblox and Fortnite are multi-platform games and Minecraft is a special case of a game that was already released on countless platforms before the acquisition. Do we now jump ship because of cross platform features?
It's a follow-on conversation that me, hix and gavon had in another thread. I believe the main Bethesda titles (ES, Fallout) will be multi-plat and Hix disagreed.

I believe that Bethesda games will come to the PS5 and that revenue will be used to fund Gamepass to buy more games/studios/media for gamepass
 
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But if you think a business would ignore or leave out [potentially] 100+ million customers, then you're either really stupid, high or being paid to be really stupid.

if you think there will be 100 million+ ps5 users by the time they release the first XGS game, you're all 3 of those
 

aries_71

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They better do something more significant than being “first” if they really want to be a competitive force. Things are not looking too bright in the multi platform side if things for MS.
 

Dabaus

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They better do something more significant than being “first” if they really want to be a competitive force. Things are not looking too bright in the multi platform side if things for MS.

Thats the whole crux of it isnt it? I think they want to transition to being a publisher but arent quite ready to rip the band aid off yet.
 

NickFire

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It is better to own the company, but I feel owning a company means you should have access to all their properties exclusively especially if you want to attract people to your product. Imo, all this supposed uncertainty from Microsoft seems suspicious. If people know these games are coming to their platform of choice, they will probably just wait and not invest into the XBOX ecosystem.
Fair enough - I get your point. I just don't think MS intends to leave huge money on the table (or lose huge sums of money) in hopes of selling more consoles after two years (give or take) of messaging that they win regardless of where or how you play their games. Ultimately they are still MS, whose bread and butter is making billions of dollars on software.

I'm open to the suggestion they are shifting gears, but so far they have provided no evidence of it IMO. In fact, I would submit that their refusal to say "we intend to make every game exclusive unless contractual obligations prevent that", during the launch period, is extremely telling of what they envision down the road. Again, just my opinion, but the optimal time to persuade someone to hold off on a PS5 purchase to play their exclusives on gamepass, would be before the PS4 player bought the PS5.
 
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Grinchy

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They bought a publisher that publishes games on multiple platforms. This publisher milks every release with not just multiple platforms but with constant re-releases.

It barely makes sense to buy a publisher just to stop them from being a publisher. It'd be like buying a factory and then having it not make as many products as before so it purposely brings in less money.
 
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Jadsey

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Haha haha!

As fully expected all Bethesda games will be released on PS5.

LITERALLY nothing has changed!

What a week. I’ll be playing Demon’s Souls, the first of many PS5 exclusive masterpieces, on Thursday.

And now Bethesda games are GUARANTEED on PS5.

Beautiful.
 

lefty1117

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All you have to do is look at Microsoft's overall strategy since Nadella took over

They are less about "Microsoft exclusive" and more about "getting our stuff on a lot of platforms". That can be seen with MS Office on IOS, and their forays into partnerships with Nintendo and others. Office365 is probably the closest example, as it's becoming now a largely subscription based offering, and so it's in their interest to make sure it's on as many platforms as possible. I believe the same will be true with Gamepass, but even if not with Gamepass specifically, I still think the philosophy of making their software available across the widest set of hardware is still core to them.

I still think there is probably going to be a timed exclusivity thing with the Bethesda games of course, and maybe some DLC or functional differences that make Windows & Xbox the "best" place to play them, but it would be stupid of them to lock it out from a console install base that may be twice as large as xbox...
 
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Bernkastel

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Xbox fanboys trying to explain away a crystal clear statement with "They cant say anything because the deal isnt finalized yet." Bro, theyre saying what they are now because they want to. If it wasnt legal to say anything they wouldnt be. Youll enjoy your elderscrolls 6 and fallout 5s just the same as would before but MS isnt going to cut off potentially billions in revenue so you can fanboy wars on game forums.
Phil literally said he is not allowed to say it as that would be illegal.
First of all, I would like to say that we haven't acquired ZeniMax. We have announced our intention to acquire ZeniMax. It is going through regulatory approval and we don't see any issues there. We expect early in 2021 the deal will close. But I say that because I want people to know, I'm not sitting down with Todd Howard and Robert Altman and planning their future. Because I'm currently not allowed to do that, that would be illegal. Your question is completely inbound, but I get a lot of questions right now: "is this game exclusive? Is this game exclusive?" And right now, that is not my job in regards to ZeniMax. My job is not to sit down and go through their portfolio and dictate what happens.
 

Clear

Deer/Dur
Feb 2, 2009
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Why doesn't Sony go multiplat? There's money on pc and Xbox to be earned.

Why doesn't Microsoft release Forza gears and halo when there's millions of ps players?

Same reason both companies selectively pay for timed exclusivity as opposed to aim to acquire lifetime exclusivity for every successful title. At the end of the day it's a more cost effective way to gain a competitive advantage. Just having something first because sales are heavily front-loaded and fans don't like to wait.

The point with the Zenimax purchase is that they've paid a shit-ton of money for more than just the IP, its a group of companies each with their own business plans and staff to support multi-platform operations. Suddenly dropping one of their most profitable markets is going to create a lot of turmoil and redunancy, devaluing the purchase.

Branching out Forza, Gears and Halo to platforms beyond what they already support would be equally disruptive because these companies have no experience or specific expertise developing outside of MS ecosystem, these are not like-for-like developers

MS is in the business of making money, not kowtowing to their most desperate fanboys. They will take the path that makes the most sense to them fiscally. As owners they can pick and choose strategically, assuming they are going to hurt their bottom line in order to stick it to a company who they don't consider a direct threat is just dumb.

The battlefield is no longer only about competing consoles, its about Amazon, and Google, and Apple and the rest of the behemoths who may decide they want a slice of the games as a service pie. Sony already have their own slate of titles and studios, and because of that are less likely (and able) to just buy themselves a place on the top-tier.

Keeping Zenimax product exclusive is not going to put Sony out of business, their absolute best case scenario is that Playstation gets closer to being another Nintendo, floating primarily on self-owned/controlled IP. They can't buy every third-party publisher in existence, so even that is extremely improbable.
 
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Same reason both companies selectively pay for timed exclusivity as opposed to aim to acquire lifetime exclusivity for every successful title. At the end of the day it's a more cost effective way to gain a competitive advantage. Just having something first because sales are heavily front-loaded and fans don't like to wait.

The point with the Zenimax purchase is that they've paid a shit-ton of money for more than just the IP, its a group of companies each with their own business plans and staff to support multi-platform operations. Suddenly dropping one of their most profitable markets is going to create a lot of turmoil and redunancy, devaluing the purchase.

Branching out Forza, Gears and Halo to platforms beyond what they already support would be equally disruptive because these companies have no experience or specific expertise developing outside of MS ecosystem, these are not like-for-like developers

MS is in the business of making money, not kowtowing to their most desperate fanboys. They will take the path that makes the most sense to them fiscally. As owners they can pick and choose strategically, assuming they are going to hurt their bottom line in order to stick it to a company who they don't consider a direct threat is just dumb.

The battlefield is no longer only about competing consoles, its about Amazon, and Google, and Apple and the rest of the behemoths who may decide they want a slice of the games as a service pie. Sony already have their own slate of titles and studios, and because of that are less likely (and able) to just buy themselves a place on the top-tier.

Keeping Zenimax product exclusive is not going to put Sony out of business, their absolute best case scenario is that Playstation gets closer to being another Nintendo, floating primarily on self-owned/controlled IP. They can't buy every third-party publisher in existence, so even that is extremely improbable.

Obsidian has plenty experience with Playstation. Why is Avowed not on PS5?

Ninja Theory has plenty experience with Playstation. Why is Hellblade 2 not on PS5? This game literally was a PS4 exclusive at some point.

Most of the devs MS has have experience working with ps devkits.

I swear I have never heard about this much money being left on tables before MS bought Zenimax. I'd love to know where those tables are.
 

Bernkastel

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All you have to do is look at Microsoft's overall strategy since Nadella took over

They are less about "Microsoft exclusive" and more about "getting our stuff on a lot of platforms". That can be seen with MS Office on IOS, and their forays into partnerships with Nintendo and others. Office365 is probably the closest example, as it's becoming now a largely subscription based offering, and so it's in their interest to make sure it's on as many platforms as possible. I believe the same will be true with Gamepass, but even if not with Gamepass specifically, I still think the philosophy of making their software available across the widest set of hardware is still core to them.

I still think there is probably going to be a timed exclusivity thing with the Bethesda games of course, and maybe some DLC or functional differences that make Windows & Xbox the "best" place to play them, but it would be stupid of them to lock it out from a console install base that may be twice as large as xbox...
So why dont they release Office on Linux? They don't because they think that would help Linux grow at the expense of Windows. If they wanted to put Bethesda games on Game Pass or make them timed exclusive they can do that at a much lower cost than 7.5 billion. If Microsoft becomes a 3rd party publisher they will lose the billions they make from store game and dlc sales(and in game purchases). So they will never pick a route that actually removes the reason to get a Xbox.
 
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I can already see the Bethesda "Generation Timed Exclusives"

TES6 and Starfield exclusively on Xbox Sex and PC for one generation, will not be released on Playstation until PS6

Big F for Bethesda
 
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lefty1117

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So why dont they release Office on Linux? They don't because they think that would help Linux grow at the expense of Windows. If they wanted to put Bethesda games on Game Pass or make them timed exclusive they can do that at a much lower cost than 7.5 billion. If Microsoft becomes a 3rd party publisher they will lose the billions they make from store game and dlc sales(and in game purchases). So they will never pick a route that actually removes the reason to get a Xbox.

I don't mean to offend Linux fans, but I think the answer is pretty straightforward. Linux represents under 3% of the install base on desktops & laptops from the metrics I've seen. Like many gaming companies they may just be making the assessment that it's not worth the effort or return to port it.

But I don't disagree with your overall assertion that they would not want to eliminate a reason to get an xbox. I think they have said this with their comments about making xbox/PC the "best place" to play these games, and I think that will manifest as platform specific features or exclusives - maybe a DLC that releases for xbox but not PS5 for example (Spidey DLC, Sony?). So I think they will entice people to buy and play on their controlled platforms, but I don't think they would close the door to all that revenue. It just doesn't make good business sense from a pure revenue perspective; I'm not surprised at all to see the comments from their CFO.