The Elder Scrolls might well be years away, but with Microsoft buying Bethesda and all of its studios, is it possible that it could be solely released on Xbox or PC platforms?
Bethesda's much-requested follow-up to the series that gave us Skyrim was teased as being the studio's next game after Starfield.
Could it Elder Scrolls 6 skip PS5 entirely?
The Elder Scrolls 6: Will It Come To PlayStation?
There's little doubt that The Elder Scrolls is Bethesda's premier franchise, even above the likes of Fallout.
The fantasy series has, in many ways, been synonymous with Xbox since Morrowind on the original Xbox console - something referenced in Phil Spencer's blog post:
"Our teams have a close and storied history working together, from the amazing first DOOM, and its id Tech engine, innovating games on PCs to Bethesda bringing their first console game to the original Xbox, the groundbreaking The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind".
Following that, the fourth game in the franchise, Oblivion, was regarded as one of the Xbox 360's finest early titles, while Skyrim was a sales juggernaut on the platform.
In an interview with Bloomberg about the acquisition of Bethesda and what it means for games releasing on other platforms (i.e. not Xbox, PC, or Game Pass), Phil Spencer said: “we’ll take other consoles on a case-by-case basis."
Considering Microsoft already publishes Minecraft on multiple platforms (itself a $2.5 billion purchase for the company), it's not unreasonable to expect that you could still play a new mainline Elder Scrolls title on the PlayStation 5.
PlayStation boss, Jim Ryan, doesn’t know if The Elder Scrolls 6 will come to PS5.
In an interview with Russian news agency TASS, Ryan said the following:
“We just take a different approach. Our emphasis has been to focus on really steady, slow, but constant organic growth of our studios, selectively bolstered by acquisitions. 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.”
There's a lot to work out in this complicated relationship. Microsoft seems to be playing ball, for the most part, allowing Arkane Studios' Deathloop to remain a PS5 and PC exclusive title.
What happens going forward is anyone's guess, but its likely players will be able to play such a massive game on any platform they wish.
It's just more likely that the game experience will be better on Xbox Series X or it will receive exclusive content.