Microsoft CFO Says They Won’t Be Pulling Bethesda Games From Other Platforms But Will Also Be Prioritizing Their Own
Nearly two months after Microsoft acquired ZeniMax Media and its publisher Bethesda Softworks, it’s still unclear how game releases and updates will be handled from here on out. Will they be Xbox and PC exclusive or will they also be launching on other platforms like the PlayStation and Switch? Microsoft Chief Financial Officer Tim Stuart put the matter to rest in a statement during last week’s Jefferies Interactive Entertainment Virtual Conference.
“The goal here is, we’re — I’ll say it from a cross-platform perspective. Microsoft is a platform. We’re one of the first to really support Minecraft, Roadblock, Fortnite across platforms. So we highly encourage cross-platform play, simply from this landscape of, if it’s good for the gaming ecosystem, it’s good for us, classic rising tide lifts all boats.”
That being said, Stuart also stated that Microsoft platforms will be prioritized above all other platforms. “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 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 as — on our platforms.”
“[. . .] If you think about something like Game Pass, if it shows up best in Game Pass, that’s what we want to see, and we want to drive our Game Pass subscriber base through that Bethesda pipeline,” he added. “So again, I’m not announcing pulling content from platforms one way or the other. But I suspect you’ll continue to see us shift towards a first or better or best approach on our platforms.”
Stuart also said that Bethesda’s business model and how they sell their games will probably change following the acquisition in order to further expand and bolster Microsoft Game Pass subscriptions. “It’s about how do you take that content and put it into a service like Game Pass to drive that subscription of the North Star metric? So I think the long — the short answer to your question is we’ll continue to look at content, we will continue to look at bolstering our first-party studios. And as always, if the right value is there with the right content creators with the right IP, we’ll continue to look at opportunities like that.”
You’ll find the full transcript of the conference on Seeking Alpha.