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That’s according to GamesBeat journalist Jeff Grubb, who wrote on Friday: “Starfield is exclusive to Xbox and PC. Period. This is me confirming that.”
Speaking in a live stream video, the prominent games industry reporter went on to state that he believed the title would appear at E3 next month and likely release in 2022.
Starfield is the next big RPG from the creator of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, originally announced in June 2018 with a teaser trailer, following which director Todd Howard said it was a game he’s wanted to make “for a very, very long time.”
Nothing has been seen of the game since, and at 2019’s E3 show the game’s director asked fans to be “very patient” in regards to the next unveiling of Starfield.
Xbox boss Phil Spencer has said Microsoft would honour existing PS5 exclusivity agreements Bethesda has in place for games like Deathloop and Ghostwire: Tokyo. For future Bethesda games, Spencer said “we’ll take other consoles on a case-by-case basis.”
In November, Xbox CFO Tim Stuart said Microsoft wants future Bethesda games to be “either first or better or best” on Xbox platforms.
Speaking last October, Todd Howard said of platform release plans: “We’ll decide what makes the best sense for our audience when the time comes, and I can’t really project today what that looks like.”
Commenting on Grubb’s Starfield claims, Niko Partners senior research analyst Daniel Ahmad said it’s “becoming more important” for Microsoft to invest in exclusive content for its Game pass subscription.
“With Game Pass now the center of the Xbox ecosystem, it is becoming more important for Microsoft to invest in exclusive content and IP that increases the value of the service and leads to new user acquisitions,” he wrote.
“It’s no secret that Microsoft has been on an acquisition spree to obtain content, IP and talent that can deliver titles into Game Pass on day 1. The release of first party titles into Game Pass on day 1 continues to be the main competitive advantage over other services.”
“Sony had been negotiating timed exclusivity on Starfield as recently as a few months ago,” he wrote in September. “Going to guess either those talks are done or the price suddenly went way, way up.”