The legal process to justify why Microsoft should be allowed to acquire Activision Blizzard is currently ongoing. In response to the UK Market Regulator Statement about the acquisition, suggests the publisher that it makes good business sense for them to make a “mid-sized” game like the forthcoming one Older Scrolls VI exclusive, while also claiming that there is simply too much money to be made Duty on PlayStation to take that off Sony’s platform.
Yes, Microsoft is again trying to explain why games that sell millions of copies are not bad. Really. Don’t pay attention to The Elder Scrolls VI or Star field on the horizon as Microsoft tries to ram this $70 billion act through regulatory authorities around the world.
ZeniMax and Bethesda games released before the acquisition are still available on the PlayStation Store at the time of writing. Deathloop and Ghostwire: Tokyo were previously planned for the PlayStation as part of Sony’s contracts with ZeniMax. However, the fate of new games is still uncertain. redfall and Star field, due out in 2023, are expected to be exclusive to Xbox and PC. That begs the question: How does Xbox decide which games will or won’t come to PlayStation consoles? Microsoft helpfully provided a chart.
First, games with cross-platform play are less likely to become exclusive. After that, Microsoft divided games into three categories: Niche, New IP/Uncertain Audience, and Mass Market Audience. Mass market and niche titles will supposedly have the least console exclusivity value, while new IPs with uncertain audiences will have the most.
I understand that Star field is a new IP address, but it feels a bit unfair to see Microsoft claim its fanbase is “dedicated” rather than generally appealing. Or that Fallout 76 is a niche title despite a player base of 13 million people. Of course, this isn’t the first time the publisher has made such outlandish claims. Two months ago, it contested That Duty is an essential game series. Now it finally admits it CodfishThe player base size is not comparable to most of the other AAA games it publishes.
Microsoft also seems to claim that making Older Scrolls VI an Xbox and PC exclusive wouldn’t hurt Sony much, which certainly suggests the upcoming title could skip PlayStation. By posting a statement about it under a “mid-sized games” section, it argues that Older roles is nowhere comparable to the popularity of Minecraft or Duty, two titles that will remain available on the PlayStation. The company also points out that the latter Older roles game was released in 2011 in an attempt to further disprove claims that it would disenfranchise PlayStation players by not releasing it on the platform. Kotaku emailed Xbox to ask whether or not Elder Scrolls VI will be exclusive to its platforms, but received no response at time of publishing.
I’m sure the news must be devastating Older roles fans. But for now, I’m laughing my ass off at the mental backflips Microsoft is asking regulators to perform.