New Microsoft Filing Indicates Elder Scrolls VI Will Be Xbox Exclusive
Microsoft’s recently released filing to UK regulators, it was indicated that The Elder Scrolls VI may become exclusive to Xbox and PC.
Should Microsoft lock off The Elder Scrolls VI to Xbox, it would arguably be one of the biggest selling points for the Xbox ecosystem and its Game Pass service. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim has had a long lifespan over the past 11 years, and its direct sequel would serve as a strong driver to buy Xboxes, or for PC players to become Game Pass subscribers.
However, Microsoft also used that incoming title as proof that it wouldn’t lock off Activision Blizzard’s Call of Duty. These games, said the Xbox maker, have mass market appeal and have a mid or lower-value exclusivity potential.
In a graphic showing what games warrant exclusivity, Microsoft said that a game’s value “does not have a linear relationship with the popularity of the game.”
That may serve as extra justification for Microsoft to take Elder Scrolls exclusive. The franchise may stay partly multiplatform due to frequent re-releases of Skyrim and The Elder Scrolls Online, but that doesn’t entirely mean it’s popular enough for future installments to come out on other consoles.
Xbox’s decision-making for Bethesda games remains unclear
The Elder Scrolls VI has been a common point of debate in the wake of Microsoft’s Bethesda acquisition. In the past, Microsoft said it would determine exclusivity for games developed by its subsidiary on a case-by-case basis.
So far, the only Bethesda games to be a definitive exclusive for Microsoft are 2023’s Starfield and Redfall from Arkane Studios. As those titles are completely new properties, they’re exclusive so they land with a specific audience of gamers.
And since both Ghostwire: Tokyo and Deathloop have both come to Xbox after previously being PlayStation exclusives, Microsoft has officially finished Bethesda’s pre-merger obligations with Sony. That means it’s now free to dictate what systems get Bethesda’s future games.
Skyrim is one of the best-selling video games in history and has sufficiently broader cultural relevance that the franchise more than deserves to remain multiplatform.