As T3 has written about recently, Microsoft's locking of Bethesda to its Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S consoles, while great news for Xbox gamers, has left Sony PS5 gamers staring down the barrel of a double barrel no-Bethesda-games shotgun blast to the chest.
That's because Bethesda is one of the world's most prolific game series makers, with it celebrated for its great work on DOOM, Wolfenstein, Dishonored, Fallout, RAGE, The Elder Scrolls and many more top series.
And now, after Microsoft bought Bethesda and very clearly locked its catalogue of games away from Sony's next-gen platform by confirming that future Bethesda games will be exclusive to "platforms where Game Pass exists" (and PS5 doesn't have Game Pass now, does it), PS5 gamers who once enjoyed games in those series won't be able to anymore.
However, as judging from comments just made by PlayStation boss Jim Ryan to Japanese news site Nikkei, it doesn't look like Sony is taking the Xbox Bethesda acquisition lying down – and that's something for PS5 gamers to be very excited about.
That's because, when Ryan was asked about Microsoft's acquisition of Bethesda, the PlayStation chief said that:
"We have been quietly, but steadily investing in high-quality games for PlayStation. And we will make sure the PlayStation 5 generation has more exclusive software than ever before. We have engaged in mergers and acquisitions several times in the past, such as with Insomniac Games. We will not rule out that option in the future."
The importance of this quote is two fold. Firstly, Ryan explicitly says that "we will make sure the PlayStation 5 generation has more exclusive software than ever before", and that comes off the back of the PlayStation 4 generation where the console destroyed the Xbox One in terms of sales thanks to its mountain of top-class exclusives. So if Ryan is saying that the PS5 will offer "more exclusive software than ever before", that means PlayStation gamers are going to get even more exclusives this generation on PS5. Whoa!
And, secondly, Ryan also explicitly states that Sony has made mergers and acquisitions "several times" and "will not rule out that option in the future". This points to previously reported rumors that Sony was looking to expand its portfolio of studios even further for PS5 games production. Clearly, Sony still has plenty of dry powder to bring in exciting new games makers.
Together, these quotes from Ryan are exactly what loyal PlayStation gamers wanted to hear – more exclusives than ever are coming down the pipe and they could be joined by even more by exclusive new Sony-acquired game studios. It is the reinforcements that PlayStation gamers need in the face of Bethesda being captured by Microsoft.
As we've noted before, though, here at T3 we're really not happy about the apparent growing divide again in terms of exclusive games, as we are of the opinion that really gamers should be given the option to play whatever games they want no matter their platform.
Yes, sure, there will always be a few platform specific exclusives that are tied to the identity of a brand, such as Halo for Microsoft and God of War for PlayStation, but when it comes to entire gaming catalogues from third-party publishers / studios being bought up and locked away from millions of gamers, that is so far from the ideal that it is laughable.
Regardless, it now looks like both PS5 and Xbox Series X are going to have plenty of exclusive games for gamers to get stuck into, and that at least is something. Here's hoping we hear more about Sony's big upcoming exclusives like Horizon Forbidden West and God of War: Ragnarok soon.
- Check out T3's Sony PlayStation VR review