Bethesda have officially been acquired by Microsoft and Xbox, and Phil Spencer has announced that “some” future Bethesda titles will be exclusive to Xbox and PC.
PlayStation has arguably been leading the pack with their exclusive content, but now that Bethesda has been officially acquired by Xbox, that could all change.
In an announcement post written by Xbox’s Head, Phil Spencer, it was confirmed that “Xbox consoles, PC, and Game Pass will be the best place to experience new Bethesda games.” It’s unclear what these benefits will be, but we can look at other studios’ relationship with PlayStation as an indicator.
In Call of Duty, PlayStation players get access to exclusive game modes, weapon blueprints, and double XP. Controversially, 2020’s The Avengers also offered Spider-Man as an exclusive playable character to PS players. It’s possible that for buying Bethesda games on Xbox or PC or playing them through the Game Pass, you’ll get certain exclusive items to use in-game.
Spencer added that there will be “some new titles in the future that will be exclusive to Xbox and PC players.”
What these titles are is anyone’s guess. Fans across all platforms are awaiting any news on The Elder Scrolls VI with bated breath, so it would be a bold move to make it exclusive to Xbox and PC. Although Bethesda’s Todd Howard said “it’s hard to imagine” TES VI as an Xbox exclusive, only time will tell what platform the successor to the ever-popular Skyrim will release on.
It was announced that Bethesda are developing a new Indiana Jones game, so this is a prime candidate for exclusivity. Xbox also now owns other major franchises Doom, Dishonored, and Wolfenstein, so it’s also highly possible that these games will be Xbox and PC exclusive going forward.
Xbox representatives have reinforced their belief that “it’s vitally important that Bethesda continues making games the way it always has.” They say they will help make Bethesda titles “the biggest and most popular games in their history,” with the help of Game Pass.
Image Credit: Bethesda / Xbox
Microsoft explain why Call of Duty will stay on PlayStation after Xbox exclusivity rumors
Microsoft have reiterated their claim that Call of Duty will remain on PlayStation and gave one simple reason why.
Both PlayStations fans and Sony itself have expressed concern over Call of Duty becoming Xbox and PC exclusive, but Microsoft have reiterated their claim that the games will remain on PlayStation, giving one simple reason why.
Microsoft announced their shock buyout of Activision Blizzard back in January 2022, with the deal set to close in Summer 2023. While Microsoft previously stated that there are no plans to make Call of Duty Xbox and PC-exclusive, Sony still expressed concern.
As reported by VGC, Microsoft responded to these concerns in a document sent to Brazil’s Administrative Council for Economic Defense (CADE). Here, they accused Sony of blocking games from Xbox Game Pass and reiterated that it “wouldn’t be profitable” to remove Call of Duty from PlayStation.
Microsoft acquired Bethesda back in 2021, and have already started making their games, such as Starfield, Xbox and PC exclusive. However, in this document, Microsoft insisted that Sony shouldn’t worry about Call of Duty being removed from PlayStation.
“Regardless of how unsurprising Sony‘s criticism of content exclusivity is – given that PlayStation’s entire strategy has been centered on exclusivity over the years – the reality is that the strategy of retaining Activision Blizzard’s games by not distributing them in rival console shops would simply not be profitable for Microsoft,” claimed Microsoft.
Microsoft gave several reasons why they wouldn’t remove future Call of Duty games from PlayStation, but it all boiled down to profit.
“The hypothetical adoption of any content discontinuation strategy would not be profitable for Microsoft and, even if implemented, such strategies would have no competitive impact, for the reasons described above,” concluded Microsoft.
There are also reports that there are contractual agreements that ensure the next three Call of Duty games will be on both Xbox and PlayStation. Rumors suggest that Call of Duty 2024 will be developed by Treyarch, and Activision have even teased a new premium game for 2023.
Image Credit: Activision
Microsoft accuses Sony of blocking games from Xbox Game Pass by paying devs
Microsoft have accused PlayStation owner Sony of paying developers not to add their games to Xbox Game Pass.
In response to Sony’s concerns over the Activision Blizzard buyout, Microsoft have accused Sony of paying developers “block fees” to keep their games off Game Pass to “inhibit” its growth.
The rivalry between Xbox and PlayStation has been going on for over 20 years and it appears to be ramping up with Microsoft’s shock Activision Blizzard buyout. Sony have previously claimed that Call of Duty is “an essential game” that “has no rival,” and Xbox owning the franchise could “influences users’ console choice.”
Microsoft have confirmed their plans to keep Call of Duty on PlayStation and, as reported by VGC, have defended the acquisition, accusing Sony of paying developers a “block fee” to keep their games off Game Pass.
VGC reported that Microsoft accused Sony of trying to “inhibit growth” of Game Pass in a document sent to Brazil’s Administrative Council for Economic Defense (CADE).
“Indeed, Microsoft’s ability to continue expanding Game Pass has been obstructed by Sony’s desire to inhibit such growth. Sony pays for ‘blocking rights’ to prevent developers from adding content to Game Pass and other competing subscription services,” claimed Microsoft in the report.
Also in the document, Microsoft responded to Sony’s claim that making Call of Duty Xbox and PC exclusive would be anti-competitive. Bringing up Sony’s own exclusivity strategy, Microsoft responded: “Sony’s concern with possible exclusivity of Activision‘s content is incoherent, to say the least.”
“It only reveals, once again, a fear about an innovative business model that offers high-quality content at low costs to gamers, threatening a leadership that has been forged from a device-centric and exclusivity-focused strategy over the years,” Microsoft continued.
Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard is set to conclude in 2023, but we’ll likely need to wait until much later to know how the deal affects Call of Duty, as well as the possibility of the games arriving on Game Pass.
Sony’s marketing deal with Call of Duty still stands for the foreseeable, with PlayStation users getting early access to Modern Warfare 2’s beta.
Image Credit: Microsoft
Backbone introduces new PlayStation-themed mobile gaming controller
Backbone debuts a new PlayStation 5-themed mobile gaming controller to play your iPhone games on the go with controller support.
Backbone is extending their partnership with PlayStation to debut an PlayStation 5 DualSense themed version of the company’s popular mobile iPhone gaming controller.
Backbone announced the new controller as part of their extended licensing partnership with Sony PlayStation to include PlayStation buttons, colors, and logos on the controller. The new product is called the Backbone One – PlayStation® Edition and available at Backbone’s site.
Backbone has worked with PlayStation to support Remote Play through their mobile controllers, allowing players to play PlayStation titles on the go with a controller in hand. The Backbone One controller is available currently for iPhone only with an Android version expected this fall.
Backbone One Features
The new controller is built to fit right in with the PlayStation design and features it’s own app on iPhone to setup and download a variety of games.
The controller is highlighted with three key features for the product:
- An exquisite design: The elegant colors, materials, and finishes are all inspired by the design of the PS5 console’s DualSense wireless controller, including transparent face buttons and a visually distinctive floating appearance.
- Purpose-built for PS Remote Play: The latest version of PS Remote Play even lets you wake your PS4 or PS5 remotely, so you can play PlayStation games anywhere. The Backbone app will also feature special integrations with the PlayStation and PS Remote Play app that make the experience even more special, like a dedicated row with new releases and updates from PlayStation and the ability to automatically deep link you into the PlayStation app to install it onto your console remotely so you can play it later via PS Remote Play.
- An reimagined app: The biggest update to the app to date, the Backbone app will now allow users to navigate the Backbone app without the device connected via touch screen. Now it’s easier than ever to discover new games, watch highlights, or connect with friends. As soon as you’re ready to hit play again, simply connect your Backbone device and the app will automatically transition you back from Standalone Mode to Controller Mode.
Backbone One First Thoughts
Backbone sent a review unit for us to checkout, and we tested it out first with Call of Duty: Mobile. The controller is very easy to use, set up, and start playing. Players have to download the Backbone app on their iPhone to pair the controller and start playing.
And since Call of Duty: Mobile supports controllers, it worked great with the Backbone device. Call of Duty: Mobile brings the best of Call of Duty on the go, with recent numbers saying the title has over 500 million downloads.
- Read More: CoD Mobile Season 7: New Vision City release date, Ghost in the Shell crossover, new BR POI
Using a controller makes the action feel even better and helps bring the experience to that of the console versions of the game.
You can play a variety of mobile games with the controller, so long as said-game as mobile controllers support. You can also play PlayStation Remote Play, letting you access some of your favorite PlayStation titles on the go (with good internet connection), and even play Xbox Game Pass Cloud Gaming titles with this controller, including Fortnite on the web.
The controller overall feels great, sturdy, and easy to hold – even when using with an iPhone 13 Pro Max.
The joystick feels stable while traversing intense games, and the buttons have very similar feel to that of the PS5 Dualsense controller.
We look forward to using the controller more with other titles, even with PlayStation remote play on Call of Duty games, and later on when Warzone Mobile releases.
Learn more about Backbone products at Backbone’s site.
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