There Is A Path For Microsoft To Put ‘Elder Scrolls 6’ On PlayStation

The Elder Scrolls VI


Previously, if you asked me if Microsoft’s statement that they “look at [exclusivity] on a case-by-case basis” was going to apply to huge titles like Starfield and Elder Scrolls 6, I would have said no way. Of course both mega-games would be crown jewels for Xbox, and we’ve already seen that come true with Starfield.

However, I am now starting to wonder if maybe, just maybe, Xbox and Phil Spencer may actually decide to release Elder Scrolls 6 on PlayStation after all, in five years or whenever it gets here. There are ways this doesn’t sound entirely implausible.

I believe some of this has to do with Starfield, some of it has to do with Elder Scrolls as a franchise. Here’s what I’m looking at, and what I imagine Microsoft is looking at as well.

How many new Game Pass sign-ups can be credited to Starfield? While this number will likely never be publicly shared, it was the singular thing Microsoft was hoping would happen with the release of the game, and will be a key metric, even if the game is a more general “success,” which it appears to be.

How long do those new Game Pass sign-ups keep subscribing? It’s easy to imagine some amount of players grabbing Game Pass, playing the game for 1-3 months to squeeze everything out of it, then cancelling, limiting the benefitting of them subbing in the first place, rather than if they had just bought the game. But if these numbers are positive, then that leans more toward the “this was a great idea” side.



How much did Xbox console sales increase? Microsoft can talk about how they don’t care about console sales all the want. They care about console sales. While I imagine that far fewer new consoles will be sold via Starfield compared to Game Pass sign-ups, obviously it’s something they’re tracking.

How many PlayStation players would be estimated to buy Elder Scrolls 6? We are going to be deep, deep into this console generation, if not fully in the next one, by the time ES6 launches, meaning PlayStation’s playerbase will be huge. With a game like Skyrim selling 50 million copies, and games now priced at $70, Microsoft could still have the best of both worlds, having ES6 on Game Pass as an attractive ecosystem option while also selling what, 10, 20 million copies on PlayStation for $70 each? That’s not nothing.

Elder Scrolls VI is not a new IP. This is something Microsoft kept bringing up when they were questioned in the Activision acquisition cases. A game like Call of Duty wouldn’t go exclusive because it was a storied IP with a multi-platform playerbase. They wouldn’t want to take that away from anyone, even Sony. Starfield, meanwhile, would be a new IP that Xbox wanted to call their own. But Elder Scrolls VI is stuck in between. It’s a longstanding multi-platform series, but no, not one that would need something like cross play because it’s not multiplayer. But still, it feeds into the argument they made during the case via Call of Duty.

Modern Warfare 2


Anti-Competitive concerns and PR. Elder Scrolls VI coming to PlayStation would be a big “see, we’re flexible and benevolent” moment from Microsoft. This could be something they point to later if they’re trying to acquire some other big game company. It would win them points even among Sony fans where there would be no downside to them agreeing to have ES6 on PlayStation, even if they had to pay full price for it. It would be an actual realization of their stated idea of bringing their games to the most players possible, something that currently feels somewhat disingenuous.

I just think there are a number of factors that can be and will be considered here beyond just “Microsoft wants Elder Scrolls 6 for itself because it’s a huge game and they want more first party exclusive wins over Sony.” I mean, yes, that is still the most likely outcome here, but I think in the post-Starfield world, they may consider the other side, as well.

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Pick up my sci-fi novels the Herokiller series and The Earthborn Trilogy.

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