Xbox's Phil Spencer Discusses The Importance Of Platform Exclusives
Image: Xbox, Bethesda

Bethesda's Starfield is undoubtedly one of the most highly anticipated Xbox releases of 2023, but there's also been a bit of uproar in the lead-up to launch regarding the game's exclusivity to the Xbox ecosystem.

In a new interview with the official Xbox On YouTube channel, Microsoft Gaming CEO and Xbox Boss Phil Spencer clarified how exclusivity for all titles, including Starfield, would be decided on a case-by-case basis moving forward. Ultimately, it depends on the game and series involved.

He further mentioned how it's just part of the "marketing beats" of consoles - as a way to sell systems and stay competitive. What was also reiterated is that Xbox won't be taking existing releases away from platforms like PlayStation, and will continue to support those communities as it has with games like Elder Scrolls Online, Minecraft and Fallout 76.

"I don't think I ever said Starfield was not going to be exclusive to Xbox...I think what I said is we're going to take it on a case-by-case basis. I said we're not gonna pull games that are on other platforms, so we'll continue to support the communities of games... Elder Scrolls Online has been doing their annual drops and content drops, those have been on PlayStation...we've updated Fallout 76 on all the platforms at the same time...

"Exclusive titles in the console space is part of the business, all platform holders do it, they are marketing beats for the platform. Our competitors have a lot of exclusive games, so when we're launching new games [on Xbox, PC and cloud]...some of those won't be available on other competitive platforms. But there's no example in Bethesda of us pulling something away from the PlayStation community...[or] us not continuing to update those...I think people playing more games across more devices is just where gaming is going."

Xbox has mentioned on multiple occasions since the reveal of Starfield how the game is exclusive to Xbox and PC. Bethesda's legendary game developer Todd Howard even reconfirmed this himself late last year - noting how the company was traditionally a PC developer first and followed with a transition across to Xbox, where it often delivered "exclusive" games.

Phil also mentioned in the Xbox On interview that Xbox won't be making any content exclusive when it comes to Call of Duty in the future, highlighting that certain skins and modes, for example, won't be locked to the platform.

What are your thoughts about exclusive content on console platforms? Do you think Microsoft and Xbox can find the right balance with its new acquisitions? Comment below.