Sony expected Starfield and The Elder Scrolls 6 on PlayStation before Xbox bought Bethesda

(Image credit: Bethesda)

PlayStation boss Jim Ryan says that Sony fully expected to see Starfield and The Elder Scrolls 6 on its platforms before Microsoft's buyout of Bethesda.

During Ryan's pre-recorded deposition shown as part of the hearings over the Xbox Activision deal, he was asked if he believed Starfield and TES6 would come to PlayStation prior to the Microsoft acquisition (via Derek Strickland on Twitter). Ryan said "we did," adding that "I think that pretty much every Bethesda game was multi-platform prior to the acquisition." He also said that it was only after the acquisition that Sony learned these games would not be available on PlayStation.

Ryan acknowledged that Sony had contracts for the Bethesda-published Ghostwire: Tokyo and Deathloop prior to the acquisition, which is how those games appeared on PS5 even after the deal closed - as one-year timed exclusives that have only recently hit Xbox at all.

Despite all that, Ryan also said that he wasn't too bothered by Microsoft's decision to make recent Bethesda titles Xbox exclusive (via Stephen Totilo on Twitter). Of Redfall's exclusivity, he said "I don’t like it, but I fundamentally have no quarrel with it." On Starfield, he said "I don’t like it but I don’t view it as anti-competitive."

Earlier in the hearings, Xbox boss Phil Spencer said that The Elder Scrolls 6 is "so far out" even he doesn't know what platforms it'll be on, indicating that Microsoft hasn't made a decision on whether or not it'll be an exclusive. According to the company's expected timing, TES6 might even be a PS6 game if it comes to PlayStation at all.

Internal Xbox documents published during the hearings suggest that Microsoft had designs on buying Sega, Bungie, and at least seven other studios.

Dustin Bailey
Staff Writer

Dustin Bailey joined the GamesRadar team as a Staff Writer in May 2022, and is currently based in Missouri. He's been covering games (with occasional dalliances in the worlds of anime and pro wrestling) since 2015, first as a freelancer, then as a news writer at PCGamesN for nearly five years. His love for games was sparked somewhere between Metal Gear Solid 2 and Knights of the Old Republic, and these days you can usually find him splitting his entertainment time between retro gaming, the latest big action-adventure title, or a long haul in American Truck Simulator.