The CMA published arguments from both Sony and Microsoft as to why the Activision deal should or shouldn’t happen, depending on which massive conglomerate it’s backing. Sony is very concerned that Call of Duty will disappear from the PS6, while Microsoft keeps saying that the deal has nothing to do with Call of Duty and everything to do with Candy Crush.
We’ll see what the CMA has to say about all that later, but in the meantime, the UK’s governing body has released documents from both sides, giving us some deep insight into Microsoft’s future plans. And that future could include Elder Scrolls 6 as an Xbox exclusive.
From the page 56 Following Microsoft’s argument to the CMA in favor of the Activision merger, the Xbox maker begins talking about The Elder Scrolls 6, which we know is a long way off. The second talks specifically about what Microsoft considers “mid-sized” games, implying that Elder Scrolls 6 could be something Microsoft will make exclusive to its own console (thanks to game developer).
Figure 44 above shows Microsoft’s reasoning. For bigger games like Call of Duty and Minecraft, the user base is so large that Microsoft would undoubtedly lose overall cash by making either game exclusive to Xbox. Similarly, smaller games like Fallout 76 and Psychonauts 2 need to find the widest possible audience to be successful, requiring their release on PlayStation to recoup their development costs.
But in the middle are games like Starfield and Redfall, which appeal to “dedicated gamers” and are “often single player.” These games, according to Microsoft, work well as exclusive titles, providing enough of an incentive to convince gamers to buy an Xbox (as long as they don’t just get them on PC, of course).
The argument against The Elder Scrolls being exclusive is, of course, that Skyrim is one of the biggest games of all time, so big that it’s still regularly re-released for profit on new platforms. One suspects that the constant re-release of Skyrim is done specifically to keep The Elder Scrolls in the minds of gamers more than a decade after the game’s release and to leverage the Skyrim name for potential marketing.
The future of Elder Scrolls is still up in the air, as is the merger between Microsoft and Activision. We will have to wait and see for both.
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