Third-party studio acquisitions naturally have many players wondering about game exclusivity moving forward. Recently revealed Microsoft documents suggest that when it comes to Elder Scrolls 6, PlayStation is likely to be excluded. It appears as though the next installment in the storied fantasy RPG franchise will be on Xbox and PC by 2026 or later.
Microsoft Planning to Exclude Elder Scrolls 6 from PlayStation
From Microsoft's responses in the FTC vs Microsoft case. Elder Scrolls VI listed here as Xbox and PC and releasing 2026 or later.
During testimony at the hearing, Xbox's Phil Spencer went on to say the game was at least five years out and platforms were technically TBD pic.twitter.com/Kto9bE5U8C
— Stephen Totilo (@stephentotilo) September 18, 2023
The news was broken by Axios’ Stephen Totilo, who has a chart to break down Microsoft’s latest plans, from Starfield to Elder Scrolls 6 (seen above). The documents come from the company’s response to the FTC case. As other companies weigh in and deliver information, we have insight into various plans from Xbox leader Phil Spencer. A quote is attributed to a 2021 interview with GQ with the executive about how the game will work on the company’s platform by delivering “the full complete package of what” the company has at its disposal.
Xbox has kept its messaging open about its acquisitions being exclusive or not. Bigger IP seemed like it could, but new IP like Starfield was expected to be on Xbox and PC. This development aligns with the trend with Bethesda games and other studios under the $7.1 billion purchase from 2021. Meanwhile, its process to obtain Activision-Blizzard has had different messaging as we are told IP like Call of Duty will remain available on other platforms.
No specific iteration of Xbox was mentioned by Microsoft for Elder Scrolls 6. Due to the date possibly going beyond 2026, we could see the next Elder Scrolls in a different generation. As AAA game development gets longer, some studios are putting out one or two games per generation. For Bethesda’s massive scale and ambition, it is possible that we won’t see its follow-up to Starfield until the Series X|S is done.