Starfield's Xbox exclusivity is damaging the Microsoft Activision merger, FTC argues
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Featured Image Credit: Microsoft/Bethesda
As excitement for Bethesda’s Starfield builds, is it damaging Microsoft’s attempt to acquire Activision Blizzard?
After years of being in development, the launch of Starfield is nearly upon us. Recently, we were treated to an epic gameplay trailer as well as a 45-minute deep dive from developers, Bethesda. Starfield looks set to be one of the most highly anticipated Xbox games in years, and the pressure will most certainly be on Microsoft and Bethesda to deliver, especially following the recent woeful launch of Redfall.
Take a look at the latest trailer for Starfield below.
Furthermore, as with any console platform, exclusive titles can often be a system seller. After all, Nintendo has Super Mario, Donkey Kong, The Legend of Zelda and more. As for PlayStation, the likes of God of War, Horizon and The Last of Us have brought a great deal of success to Sony’s machine.
Over the years, the Xbox has benefited from some fantastic franchises with Halo, Gears of War and Forza Motorsport leading the way. Sadly, the green brand hasn't revelled in a great deal of success with the Xbox Series X|S, at least in terms of exclusive games, so it’s understandable why Microsoft and Xbox fans will be pinning all hopes on the likes of Starfield. However, as reported by IGN, the United States market regulator, the FTC, might see things differently.
The FTC believes that “infuriating gamers” by making Bethesda exclusive to Xbox could negatively impact the decision of market regulators that might oppose the upcoming Activision acquisition deal. “Defendants put great stock in Microsoft's concerns about 'infuriating gamers' if it were to foreclose rivals' access to Activision content… But those same concerns did not stop the ZeniMax decision,” reads an FTC document.
In other words, following the Bethesda acquisition, the FTC is using the case of Microsoft not bringing recent and future Bethesda titles to PlayStation with the concern that history will be repeated should the Activision Blizzard deal be finalised.
Microsoft has remained adamant that the likes of Call of Duty will remain multi-platform, going as far as offering both Sony and Nintendo ten-year deals. However, it’s unclear what will happen to other multiplayer Activision properties. Unfortunately, the Microsoft and Activision Blizzard saga is far from over and no doubt there’ll be another twist to this tale.