Bethesda head was worried Microsoft's "confusing" stance on CoD exclusivity would put Starfield in an awkward situation

Starfield screenshot
(Image credit: Bethesda)

It turns out that other studios that Microsoft owns are just as unamused by the Xbox's messaging over console exclusivity as we all are.

As part of the ongoing hearings over Microsoft's deal to purchase Activision Blizzard, several internal documents have been made public for various reasons. Some reveal interesting titbits – Phil Spencer's fear of Sony buying Starfield or Xbox's "final watchlist" for acquisition, including Sega, Bungie, and seven other studios. 

Others are fairly understandable and yet still amusing, like Bethesda Softworks SVP of global marketing & communications Pete Hines asking Spencer what the deal is with being vocal over keeping Call of Duty on PlayStation when Starfield is locked down to Xbox.

As shared online by Bloomberg's Jason Schreier on Twitter, Hines expressed his "surprise" to Spencer regarding the messaging of an Xbox blog post about ensuring "Sony fans can continue to enjoy the games they love", going on to say it was being read as the opposite of what happened when Microsoft acquired Bethesda.

Also shared during the trial was Hines' email to other Bethesda buds like Todd Howard, getting across a similar sentiment more candidly. Hines expresses "confusion" as Microsoft's messaging over Call of Duty is the "opposite of what we were just asked (told) to do with our own titles?" Hines also mentions that it would have been good to get a heads-up as Howard was due to attend DICE, and would have likely been confronted with the topic in several interviews.

Again, the difference in tone is fairly par for the course when it comes to corporate settings - it's just amusing to see the curtain on games development pulled back to reveal a group chat vs the side chat moment.

Starfield will have physical discs, after all, Bethesda confirms – just not PlayStation availability.

Deputy News Editor

Iain joins the GamesRadar team as Deputy News Editor following stints at PCGamesN and PocketGamer.Biz, with some freelance for Kotaku UK, RockPaperShotgun, and VG24/7 thrown in for good measure. When not helping Ali run the news team, he can be found digging into communities for stories – the sillier the better. When he isn’t pillaging the depths of Final Fantasy 14 for a swanky new hat, you’ll find him amassing an army of Pokemon plushies.