Starfield: Xbox exclusivity seemingly confirmed


Starfield is a video game that many people are eagerly looking forward to, no doubt. Announced during the E3 show in 2018, this upcoming game by Bethesda Game Studios still has no release date. This however, has not stopped excitement for the game from building up, with gamers eager to know more about what could be one of the most important video game releases in a very long time.

But besides putting out a short teaser for the game at E3 2018, Bethesda has not yet disclosed many details about the game – actually we know very little about Starfield besides the fact that it will be a role-playing game set in space.

Of course, given Bethesda’s track record – they are the people behind The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim and Fallout 4 after all – great things are expected from Starfield, a game which will be the company’s first new, not part of an existing franchise game in a very long time.

And like previous Bethesda games, people expected Starfield would be launching on PC, Xbox and PlayStation consoles too…

The thing is, Microsoft’s acquisition of Bethesda and parent company ZeniMax altered the equation quite a bit. At first there was some confusion about whether upcoming Bethesda games would be coming to PS5, with Microsoft exec Phil Spencer saying this would be decided on a “case by case” basis, which does make a lot of sense.

Plus, Microsoft saying it would honor the timed exclusivity of Deathloop and Ghostwire: Tokyo on PS5 also gave hope to fans who were looking forward to enjoying Starfield on a PlayStation console.

However, more recently Phil Spencer said that Microsoft’s main idea behind the buying of Bethesda was securing exclusives for its Xbox Game Pass service, which made some doubt Starfield would be available on PS5, at least at launch.

And more recently Venture Beat journalist Jeff Grubb said on Twitter (via Forbes) that Starfield Xbox exclusivity was a sure thing, much to the dismay of Bethesda fans and those hoping to get the game on PS5 when it comes out.

However, in his Games Beat piece, while stating that he’s “separately confirmed that this situation applies to Starfield through sources familiar with the decision”, he does not mention what the sources he refers to in the article are.

Also, later on he quotes Niko Partners analyst Daniel Ahmad, who speculates about what Microsoft’s strategy should be given the rapid growth of Game Pass.

“With Game Pass now the center of the Xbox ecosystem, it is becoming more important for Microsoft to invest in exclusive content and IP that increases the value of the service and leads to new user acquisitions”, Ahmad said on Twitter.

Which makes sense, but is just speculation on Ahmad’s part.

And Grubb’s argument about why Microsoft released Minecraft Dungeons on PS5, but won’t consider doing the same with Starfield is logical, but not completely convincing either. Therefore, his comments about Starfield exclusivity are not much more than a rumor right now.

Also, bear in mind that Sony had apparently been negotiating a timed-exclusivity deal for Starfield before Bethesda’s acquisition by Microsoft, and that the game had been in development for years as a multiplatform game – not releasing on PS5 now would mean millions had been wasting in developing Starfield for Sony’s console.

It would be wiser, then, to wait until the E3 show this year in order to find out more about the game, and whether it will be hitting the PS5 at launch, or only PC and Xbox Series X/S.

Bethesda is expected to do a full reveal of Starfield at E3 this year, like it did with its superlative role-playing game Fallout 4 back in 2015. Fallout 4 was shown at E3 2015 in June and released in November of the same year. And Bethesda did the same with Fallout 76, announcing the game at E3 in June and releasing it in November 2018 to poor critical reception. So a Starfield release in fall 2021 is not completely out of the question then.

But will the game be on PS5 at launch? This being a PC and Xbox exclusive is a likely thing as mentioned earlier, but with no official word from Microsoft (which now owns the studio) or Bethesda themselves, we don’t yet now whether PlayStation owners will be exploring Starfield’s sci-fi world or not on release date for sure yet.

Read more: Starfield images leak, but will Bethesda’s game arrive soon?