Pete Hines, VP for marketing at Bethesda, spoke about Xbox exclusivity and what it’s like to develop for fewer platforms.
Starfield is set to release later this year, September 6, after what feels like an extra long development cycle, but it turns out that fans could’ve had to wait even longer if the circumstances were different.
During the current trial between Microsoft/ Activision and the Federal Trade Commission, Hines was asked about developing Xbox exclusives like Redfall and Starfield. “We would not be putting [Starfield] out in nine weeks if we were supporting an entire additional platform, in my opinion,” Hines said.
(Image credit: Bethesda)
Ultimately, Hines concluded that the Starfield team were able to hold more rounds of quality assurance and testing when developing for fewer platforms. In short, it’s less of a risk.
However, Hines also claimed that he was blindsided by Starfield’s exclusivity when Activision titles like Call of Duty were still cross platform, “it was the opposite of what we were just asked — told — to do with our other titles”, Hines said.
Apparently, no one at Bethesda was given forewarning for the decision to keep Call of Duty available on PlayStation platforms like PS5. Hines was under the impression that Phil Spencer would explain it all in an interview why there are different restrictions for various titles.
There’s been a lot of issue around the Microsoft/ Activision acquisition as the CMA kicked things off with blocking the deal followed by the EU approving the deal almost right after the UK government blocked the deal. The controversy surrounds the idea of Microsoft building a cloud gaming monopoly.
In response to the Microsoft began making slightly outlandish deal such as offering a 10 year Call of Duty contract to PlayStation and pledging to allow the FPS series to run on the Nintendo Switch, despite having no evidence that this could be possible.
As Xbox are starting to wrack up its own exclusive titles, it’s a great time to check out the most anticipated upcoming Xbox Series X|S titles.