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‘Starfield’ release date, gameplay: Sony was negotiating Bethesda’s new IP’s timed exclusivity on PlayStation 5, report says

From the Starfield announcement trailer | Photo credit: Bethesda Softworks / YouTube screenshot

Bethesda Game Studios’ track record in making video games is enough to increase expectations on “Starfield.” It was then not surprising that Sony reportedly negotiated for the new IP to be initially exclusive on PlayStation before Microsoft bought Bethesda’s parent company ZeniMax Media.

‘Starfield’: Will it be exclusive on either PlayStation 5 or Xbox Series X upon launch?

Microsoft pulled a game-changing move within the video games industry when it announced its acquisition of ZeniMax for $7.5 billion earlier this week. This means existing and future IPs developed and published by ZeniMax’s subsidiaries, which includes Bethesda, are going to be under Xbox’s banner moving forward.

Meanwhile, journalist Imran Khan reported that the timing of the mega acquisition is interesting. When the acquisition was announced, Sony had already confirmed several Bethesda games are going to be timed exclusives for the PlayStation consoles. But the announcement also happened very shortly before the Xbox Series X pre-orders started on Sept. 22.

There have been earlier reports that Sony was more aggressive when negotiating with publishers and developers for exclusivity deals. And those efforts, Khan reported, including an attempt to secure a timed exclusivity deal for “Starfield” just “a few months ago.”

Khan has no information on whether or not the reported discussion bore results. It should be noted that Microsoft had already stated it will honor exclusivity deals ZeniMax and its subsidiaries have entered before the acquisition. This directly applies to “Deathloop” developed by Arkane Studios and “GhostWire: Tokyo” published by Bethesda Softworks. Both titles had been announced to arrive first on PlayStation 5 when they launch in 2021.

‘Starfield’ release date, gameplay

Bethesda has been very quiet about “Starfield” whether its about development update, gameplay details, or release window. So Sony’s reported interest in locking it for PlayStation players could be another manifestation of how the company was pressing hard for exclusivity deals. But if no deal was made before this week, Sony is unlikely to get it now that Microsoft owns Bethesda.

“Starfield” was first announced in June 2018 as the first Bethesda IP for the last 25 years. It is confirmed to be a role-playing game set in space and that it is the studio’s priority project even though “The Elder Scrolls 6” was announced in the same year. When it was announced, Bethesda Game Studios director Todd Howard said the game has been in production and already “playable.” Other than these details, gaming fans know virtually nothing about the game, especially about its release date.

Many were hoping that at least some “Starfield” announcements were to be made this year. However, even that seems unlikely now decreasing the chance for the game to be launched in 2021.

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