Following the back-and-forth over the acquisition of Bethesda's parent company by Microsoft, Sony Interactive Entertainment CEO Jim Ryan said that he isn't sure whether future Bethesda titles will launch on the PlayStation 5.
ZeniMax Media is the company in question, and as well as Bethesda, it also counts Alpha Dog Games, Arkane Studios, id Software, MachineGames, Roundhouse Studios, Tango Gameworks, and ZeniMax Online Studios among its subsidiaries. These studios are responsible for lots of your favourite franchises, from Dishonored, to DOOM, to Wolfenstein, to The Evil Within. As a result, Ryan's vagueness on the future of these titles on the PlayStation 5 has raised a number of eyebrows.
In an interview with Russian news agency TASS, Ryan was asked about the acquisition and whether The Elder Scrolls VI or Starfield will launch on the PlayStation 5 following the agreements between Bethesda and Microsoft. "That's a decision that is out of our hands, we'll wait and see what happens," replied Ryan, and added that he "look[s] forward to learning about that." His answer shows that Microsoft and Sony might not have had that conversation yet, which is understandable as the two companies are presently occupied with the debuts of their next-gen gizmos.
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In addition, the acquisition isn't expected to have dotted the "i"s or crossed the "t"s until early 2021, so those sorts of discussions will likely happen in the months after that. Still, Ryan commended Microsoft's "different approach" to the next generation of interactive entertainment. "Our emphasis has been to focus on really steady, slow, but constant organic growth of our studios, selectively bolstered by acquisitions," he continued.
"We respect the steps taken by our competition, they seem logical and sensible. But we're equally happy and confident, we've got a better launch lineup than we've ever had at any of our console launches," he concluded. Microsoft appears to be emphasising accessibility with the Xbox Series X, highlighting the value of Xbox Game Pass, and stressing the viability of the Xbox Series S as a lower-priced yet powerful console. It has also said that the exclusivity agreements for Deathloop (Arkane Studios) and Ghostwire: Tokyo (Tango Gameworks) will not be altered owing to the new agreements.
However, Xbox's chief financial officer has shed some light on the status of upcoming Bethesda titles. "What we'll do in the long run is we don't have intentions of just pulling all of Bethesda content out of Sony or Nintendo or otherwise," said Tim Stuart. "But what we want is we want that content, in the long run, to be either first or better or best or pick your differentiated experience, on our platforms. We will want Bethesda content to show up the best on our platforms."
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