In the roundtable discussion regarding the joining of Bethesda teams with Xbox Game Studios, Xbox head Phil Spencer gave an answer to the games exclusivity question surrounding the deal. Essentially, future games that were not contracted to be on other platforms will arrive as exclusives to the Xbox ecosystem, specifically to places "where Xbox Game Pass exists".
"If you're an Xbox customer, the thing I want you to know is this is about delivering great exclusive games for you that ship on platforms where Xbox Game Pass exists, and that’s our goal, that's why we're doing this," said Phil Spencer. "That's the root of this partnership that we're building, and the creative capability we will be able to bring to market for our Xbox customers is going to be the best it’s ever been for Xbox after we're done here."
Meanwhile, already launched multiplatform Bethesda titles with ongoing support - such as Doom Eternal, Fallout 76, and The Elder Scrolls Online - will continue to receive updates on other platforms than just Xbox. Games under previous contractual obligations, like Arkane's upcoming PlayStation 5 timed exclusive Deathloop, are still on their way to rival platforms too, with Spencer adding:
“So obviously I can’t sit here and say every Bethesda game is exclusive, because we know that’s not true. There’s contractual obligations that we’re going to see through as we always do in every one of these instances. We have games that exist on other platforms, and we’re going to go support those games on the platforms they’re on. There’s communities of players. We love those communities and we’ll continue to invest in them. And even in the future, there might be things that have either contractual things or a legacy on different platforms that we’ll go do.
With the Zenimax Media acquisition now complete, Starfield, The Elder Scrolls 6, and every unannounced project from its many remaining studios will be exclusive to Xbox consoles, Windows, and streaming going by this message. It's unclear how Steam fits into this Xbox Game Pass-first formula though, as the PC store has received many Xbox titles in recent years, with more to come like Halo Infinite. Microsoft may be planning a Steam version of its subscription program akin to EA Play.