It's the question everyone's been eager to have answered since news broke that Microsoft was acquiring Bethesda and parent company Zenimax Media last year, and now Xbox head Phil Spencer has clarified Microsoft's stance on exclusivity for future Bethesda games.
Speaking as part of tonight's lengthy Xbox and Bethesda "roundtable" event, Spencer chose to address the issue directly. "I see it in the community, I listen to the podcasts and all the questions," he said, "so I'm going to try and be as clear as I can because I just think it's fair."
"Obviously I can't sit here and say every Bethesda game is [an Xbox] exclusive, because we know that's not true," he explained. "There's contractual obligations that we're going to see through. We have games that exist on other platforms and we're going to go and support those games on the platforms they're on. There's communities of players - we love those communities and will continue to invest in them - and even in the future there might be...either contractual things or legacy on different platforms that we'll go do."
"But if you're an Xbox customer," Spencer continued, "the thing I want you to know is this is about delivering great exclusive games for you that ship on platforms where Game Pass exists. And that's our goal, that's why we're doing this, that's the root of this partnership that we're building - and the creative capability we'll be able to bring to market for Xbox customers is going to be the best it's ever been for Xbox after we're done here."
The takeaway, then, is that games currently available on other platforms shouldn't be affected by Microsoft's acquisition of ZeniMax Media, nor will pre-existing exclusivity deals, such as the timed exclusivity windows previously announced for Deathloop and GhostWire: Tokyo on PS5. Future games, however, will be exclusive "where Game Pass exists", currently meaning Xbox consoles, PC, and any platform capable of accessing the service via cloud.
And while there was little in the way of news for anyone hoping to learn more about those future games during tonight's roundtable, Microsoft and Bethesda have now confirmed more will be revealed during a special showcase event scheduled for this summer.