Xbox head Phil Spencer has clarified Microsoft's position on bringing games developed by its newly-acquired gaming giant Bethesda to other platforms like PlayStation 5 – stating that the company doesn't have to bring titles like Elder Scrolls VI to other platforms to turn a profit. The news arrives as somewhat of a changeup from previous statements in which Spencer has claimed that Bethesda releases outside of the Xbox ecosystem would be considered on a case-by-case basis. Of course, there's a lot more to this comment than meets the eye.

Xbox has been particularly collaborative with rival hardware manufacturers in recent months. Deals between Microsoft and Nintendo have led to previous Xbox exclusives like Ori debuting on the Switch platform, while a recent crossover brought Minecraft's Steve to Super Smash Bros Ultimate as a playable fighter. Despite things seemingly blossoming between those two companies, things have been less clear for PlayStation fans wondering if they'll be able to play games like Fallout, DOOM, and The Elder Scrolls on their spiffy new PS5 consoles.

Speaking with Kotaku, Spencer reiterated that Microsoft didn't simply acquire Bethesda as a means of preventing gamers from accessing content. However, he did firmly state that Microsoft is under no pressure to serve up a blockbuster like The Elder Scrolls VI to PS5 owners in order to make the company's acquisition work financially. When asked about just that, Spencer quickly clarified his stance on how Bethesda will fit into its new role within Xbox Game Studios.

“I don’t want to be flip about that. This deal was not done to take games away from another player base like that. Nowhere in the documentation that we put together was: ‘How do we keep other players from playing these games?’ We want more people to be able to play games, not fewer people to be able to go play games. But I’ll also say in the model—I’m just answering directly the question that you had—when I think about where people are going to be playing and the number of devices that we had, and we have xCloud and PC and Game Pass and our console base, I don’t have to go ship those games on any other platform other than the platforms that we support in order to kind of make the deal work for us. Whatever that means.”

It sounds as if Spencer is still tiptoeing around specifics on the subject, but he's also very firm in his belief that Bethesda titles can remain exclusive to the Xbox ecosystem and still generate strong enough revenue to make the acquisition make sense for Microsoft. Between consoles, PC, and xCloud, the profitability is less in the sale of individual games and more in the Netflix-style subscription service that is Xbox Game Pass. Of course, if Sony were to embrace Microsoft's games service then perhaps PlayStation fans wouldn't be wondering if they'll go without Bethesda titles.

Spencer has clarified in the past that Microsoft isn't able to bring the full Xbox Game Pass experience to other platforms, and therefore it's unlikely they'll make the jump. This likely stems from both a need to move hardware and the issues that various licenses have on the service – which is also exactly why Xbox Game Pass For PC is a separate thing. Perhaps something can be worked out down the road, but it appears that Microsoft isn't all that concerned with bringing anything other than Bethesda's promised Deathloop and GhostWire: Tokyo to PS5 for the time being.