The exclusivity status of The Elder Scrolls 6 was one of the burning questions following Microsoft’s $7.5 billion buyout of Bethesda back in 2021. Xbox boss Phil Spencer has danced around the issue, most recently insisting a decision had yet to be made. But now, according to one of Microsoft’s own documents, the debate is over: The Elder Scrolls 6 is set to skip PlayStation 5.
Axios reporter Stephen Totilo tweeted a freshly unsealed document lifted from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) versus Microsoft trial over the Activision Blizzard buyout, and it includes a list of announced Bethesda games along with their platform and release window intentions.
From Microsoft’s responses in the FTC vs Microsoft case. Elder Scrolls VI listed here as Xbox and PC and releasing 2026 or later.
During testimony at the hearing, Xbox’s Phil Spencer went on to say the game was at least five years out and platforms were technically TBD pic.twitter.com/Kto9bE5U8C
— Stephen Totilo (@stephentotilo) September 18, 2023
Of particular interest is section on The Elder Scrolls 6, which, according to the document, will not launch on PS5 and instead launch on Xbox and PC only. Its release date is down as TBC, but the game is “expected 2026 or later”. Microsoft has yet to make a formal announcement about the launch platforms or release window for The Elder Scrolls 6. IGN has asked Microsoft for comment.
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The Microsoft statement on exclusivity mentioned in the document is a quote from Spencer in an interview with GQ conducted in 2021: “In order to be on Xbox, I want us to be able to bring the full complete package of what we have. And that would be true when I think about Elder Scrolls 6.”
It is perhaps unsurprising to see The Elder Scrolls 6 down to skip PS5, given recent Bethesda games have done the same. Arkane’s Redfall and Bethesda Game Studios’ own Starfield both launched on Xbox and PC only. MachineGames’ upcoming Indiana Jones game is also expected to launch as an Xbox and PC exclusive.
Given the release window mentioned here, The Elder Scrolls 6 may also skip this generation of consoles. The Xbox Series X and S will both be six years old by the end of 2026, and Microsoft’s next-generation console will either be out around then or waiting in the wings.
Incredibly, The Elder Scrolls 6 was announced five years ago at E3 2018. While speaking to press about Starfield earlier in August, Bethesda director Todd Howard suggested, looking back, he probably wouldn’t have revealed The Elder Scrolls 6 in the same way. “I probably would’ve announced it more casually,” Howard said.
Last month, Bethesda head of publishing Pete Hines confirmed The Elder Scrolls 6 was in “early development”, and warned fans they shouldn’t expect to hear about it any time soon.
Wesley is the UK News Editor for IGN. Find him on Twitter at @wyp100. You can reach Wesley at email@example.com or confidentially at firstname.lastname@example.org.