Photo credit: Bethesda
Post updated at 8.28.23.
It took a long time though starfield is almost there. The day is at hand. The time is near. September 1st for pre-orders and September 6th for all others.
And for the first time in a long time very Xbox has long been in the process of launching the biggest exclusive console of the year – bigger than Sony’s Spider Man 2, bigger than Nintendo’s The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom.
In a year of huge game releases –Hogwarts Legacy, Diablo IV, Baldur’s Gate 3, etc. etc. – none is so eagerly awaited as starfield, Bethesda’s response to the question, “What if skyrim, but in space?”
This is partly because starfield has been in development for so long, and in part because Bethesda’s other big RPG –Elder Scrolls VI– is still years away. starfield was announced in 2018 before Microsoft acquired Bethesda’s parent company, ZeniMax, for a whopping $7.5 billion in 2020.
In fact, Microsoft decided to pull the trigger on this acquisition over fears that Sony would strike a deal with Bethesda to lock out Xbox.
“One of the reasons we bought ZeniMax was because Sony had struck a deal death loop And Ghostwire “Paying Bethesda not to ship these games on Xbox,” Xbox CEO Phil Spencer said during a hearing between the FTC and Microsoft earlier this year. “So the discussion about that starfield when we heard that starfield With the company potentially skipping Xbox as well, as the third-placed console we can’t be able to fall behind any further in our content ownership, so we had to secure content to remain viable in the business.”
Now it looks like the chickens are coming home to sleep for Sony. Those exclusivity deals might have paid off in the short term, but with Bethesda now fully owned by Xbox, it’s unlikely that more of their games will ever come to PlayStation. starfield is the first of many. A Indiana Jones Bethesda has a game in the works that will also skip PlayStation, and that seems unlikely Elder Scrolls VI will launch on every console except Xbox.
And Bethesda isn’t the only game developer that Microsoft has bought out. Microsoft is in the process of buying along with a number of smaller studios call of Duty Publisher Activision in a nearly $70 billion deal.
With Microsoft making these huge games a part of Xbox Game Pass, the barrier to play has never been lower for Xbox gamers. They can easily start a Game Pass subscription just to play a title and then cancel their membership until another game they want to play comes out.
Whether that’s a healthy future for the video game industry or a sustainable future for game developers and publishers is another question entirely.
This could be the start of a major turn in the console wars, especially if starfield turns out to be a hit. Judging by the success of Stand out And Elder Scrolls Series, that seems to be a foregone conclusion.
I’d like to add a few more thoughts to the above post, so I thought I’d just add them here.
First of all I want to be very clear that I have nothing against Sony or PlayStation at all. I love a lot of PlayStation exclusives from Spiderman To ratchet and clamp To The last of us.
I gave Spiderman a 9.5/10 when I reviewed it. demon souls And Bloodborne, Both are PlayStation exclusives and are some of my favorite games of all time. I love Unexplored And God of War and so on. Sony has some great games and I love playing them on my PS3, PS4 and PS5. I would still be playing on my PS Vita if it wasn’t broken.
But I also think competition is a good thing, so I like to cheer for the underdog. In this case, that’s Xbox. I want Xbox Sony to be able to compete for its money. I want Xbox to offer more compelling exclusives. I think that leads to a healthier market for gamers.
This brings me to my second, perhaps contradictory, point. As much as I wish Sony and Xbox would continue to release exclusives, I don’t like the trend we’ve seen with so many studio acquisitions lately. Microsoft is on a major buying spree, and Bethesda and Activision will now both be Microsoft developers, while the previously cross-platform content is leaving Sony.
This is of course partly Sony’s fault. As I outlined above, Microsoft was spurred into buying Bethesda because Sony signed exclusive deals for Bethesda games. Sony has bought many top notch developers in the past to keep as many compelling titles as possible exclusive to PlayStation. The only way to respond is to do what Microsoft is doing now and get more studios to compete with them.
In conclusion, I don’t know what to think of Xbox Game Pass. It’s a smart move by Microsoft, but I’m very concerned that the subscription model is a house of cards. We’re already seeing this with media streaming content and the way Netflix is ”disrupting” the entertainment industry, which could actually cause it to completely implode. I would hate to see something similar in gaming.
So no, I don’t want PlayStation to fail. I want Sony, Microsoft, Nintendo and every game studio out there to be successful.
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I write about TV shows like House Of The Dragon, The Witcher, The Rings Of Power, Stranger Things, Yellowjackets, Severance and many others. I also cover movies, video games, comics and novels mostly in the fantasy, sci-fi, horror and superhero genres. Some of my favorite video games to play and write about are Dark Souls, Elden Ring, Call Of Duty, XCOM, Mass Effect, Titanfall, The Witcher and many other action, RPG and shooter games. My favorite movies include Braveheart, Tropic Thunder, Arsenic and Old Lace, Schindler’s List, and far too many others to list here. I often discuss the “wars of pop culture” and how changing cultural values are affecting our art and entertainment. I prefer intense conversation and debate to shouting, and I welcome readers from all walks of life and of all religious and political backgrounds to join this conversation. Thank you for reading!
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