Microsoft reportedly plans to bring first-party titles Starfield, Indiana Jones and the Great Circle to PS5


Microsoft appears to be changing its strategy in the gaming sector, with reports claiming that the company is considering the possible launch of its first-party titles on rival consoles. Starfield, the space RPG from Microsoft-owned Bethesda Softworks, which launched exclusively on Xbox and PC last September, may be coming to PS5. Xbox is also considering bringing another upcoming Bethesda title to parent Sony's console. Indiana Jones and the Great Circle, which was first showcased at Xbox's Developer Direct Showcase last month, may also reportedly launch on PS5.

The report regarding the possible release of Starfield outside the Xbox and PC ecosystem comes from XboxEra, which cites unnamed sources who claim that Bethesda's RPG is being considered for a PS5 launch. Although there are no details on the release timeline, the report says it could follow the Shattered Space expansion announced last December, which will launch on Xbox consoles and PC later this year.

Additionally, sources have told XboxEra that Microsoft has “made additional investments in the PlayStation 5 dev kit to support ongoing development efforts.” The report also notes that the change in Microsoft's stance on releasing first-party titles on competing platforms has not come without some internal resistance. The company's senior leadership is engaged in “furious” internal discussions on the matter, with not everyone reportedly agreeing with the new direction. But the financial incentive of releasing your biggest games on rival consoles like the PS5 and Nintendo Switch can't be ignored.

According to The Verge, in addition to Starfield, Bethesda's next big game, Indiana Jones and the Great Circle, is also being considered for a PS5 launch. The report, citing a source close to Microsoft's plans, claims that the Indiana Jones game is set to join the list of Xbox titles that could make their way to the PS5 and Nintendo Switch.

Announced for Xbox Series S/X and PC, Indiana Jones will reportedly be a timed exclusive, with a possible PS5 launch being considered a few months after the game arrives on Xbox and Windows. The report states that publisher Bethesda is considering a December 2024 launch timeline for Microsoft consoles and PC.

Microsoft has not officially confirmed any details regarding its reported plans to release first-party games on other platforms and may change its decision on certain titles going multi-platform. However, the new reports follow rumors of other Xbox titles potentially coming to PS5 and Nintendo Switch. Exclusive titles like Hi-Fi Rush and Sea of ​​Thieves could reportedly go multi-platform, with XboxEra's sources saying that Hi-Fi Rush and Sea of ​​Thieves could be available on rival consoles in the first quarter of 2024.

Xbox's previous stance on its first-party titles was clear: exclusive launch on Xbox consoles and PC with subscription access through Game Pass. Aaron Greenberg, vice president of Xbox games marketing at Microsoft, stressed to

Microsoft acquired Bethesda's parent company ZeniMax Media in 2020 for $7.5 billion (roughly Rs. 55,223 crore at the time of the deal), and added formidable franchises like The Elder Scrolls, Doom, Fallout, and others to its first party portfolio. The company also reportedly canceled the planned PS5 release for Arkane's first-person shooter Raidfall after the acquisition, saying, “We were acquired by Microsoft and it was a Change with a capital C. They came in and said, ' 'No PlayStation 5',” Redfall game director Harvey Smith said in an interview in March last year. That strategy, clearly, appears to be changing.

Raidfall was subsequently released to overwhelmingly negative critical reception, with Xbox head Phil Spencer himself taking “full responsibility” for the game's unofficial launch. “I'm disappointed, I'm upset with myself,” Spencer said on the Kinda Funny Xcast show last May. He also openly reflected on Xbox's position in the console space compared to its two larger rivals, Sony and Nintendo, admitting that Xbox did not intend to “out-console” its competitors.

However, Microsoft acquired Call of Duty maker Activision Blizzard for $69 billion (roughly Rs. 5,73,000 crores) last year after a long-running regulatory battle with the US Federal Trade Commission and the UK's Competition and Markets Authority. Had taken. While the acquisition has strengthened Microsoft's position in the market, bringing lucrative franchises under its umbrella, the company has had to accept certain conditions to satisfy antitrust authorities. Xbox parent signs a deal to continue releasing Call of Duty on PlayStation. Microsoft and Activision also agreed to sell non-European cloud streaming rights to its titles to Ubisoft.

Starfield, despite its overall mixed reception, remains a strong performer for Microsoft, with the game emerging as one of Steam's best-selling titles in 2023. Last December, Spencer said that the Bethesda RPG had hit 12 million players since its launch.

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