Starfield Being An Xbox Exclusive Means Millions In Lost Sales, Microsoft Believes
Microsoft will look to offset the loss with console sales and Game Pass subscriptions.
Prior to confirming their Xbox exclusivity , Microsoft expected to sell over 10 million copies of Bethesda's Starfield and MachineGames' Indiana Jones game on PlayStation. This comes by way of a new court document (via IGN) from the recent Microsoft-FTC trial.
"Microsoft Gaming CFO Tim Stuart testified that when Microsoft evaluated exclusivity of ZeniMax games in December 2020, despite having more than 10 million units forecasted for both Starfield and Indiana Jones on PlayStation, Microsoft believed it could offset losses incurred from taking ZeniMax games exclusive through upside to Game Pass increased console sales," reads an excerpt from the FTC document.
ZeniMax--the parent company of Bethesda Softworks--was acquired by Microsoft in 2021. Bethesda is the publisher of many popular gaming franchises such as Fallout, The Elder Scrolls, Doom, and others, ibcluding the upcoming Starfield. Aside from Deathloop and Ghostwire: Tokyo, which were both intended to come to PlayStation prior to the acquisition, ZeniMax projects have all been planned as Xbox exclusives.
The recent legal battle, which has thus far come down in favor of Microsoft, means the company is closer to finalizing its deal to purchase Activision Blizzard for nearly $69 billion. Should the deal go through, Microsoft will own popular gaming franchises such as Crash Bandicoot, Overwatch, World of Warcraft, and Call of Duty.
It's unclear how Microsoft will handle the exclusivity of Activision projects once the acquisition goes through. Microsoft has stated before that Call of Duty will continue to be available on PlayStation consoles after the Activision deal closes.
Starfield is gearing up to launch for Xbox Series X|S and PC on September 6 (September 1 for early access versions), while the Indiana Jones game has no release date.