Starfield releasing on PS4 or PS5 almost happened, with Sony reportedly trying to negotiate a deal with Bethesda for Starfield before yesterday's acquisition of Bethesda and parent company Zenimax Media by Microsoft.
The claim was made by Kinda Funny reporter and host Imran Khan, who reported that Sony had been negotiating a timed exclusivity period for Starfield (opens in new tab) as recently as "a few months ago."
At the time of writing, it's anyone's guess as to how the acquisition of Bethesda by Microsoft has affected the negotiations between Bethesda and Sony for Starfield, but we'd assume it would probably affect it a fair bit.
FUN NOTE: Sony had been negotiating timed exclusivity on Starfield as recently as a few months ago. Going to guess either those talks are done or the price suddenly went way, way up.September 21, 2020
It's not hard to imagine two scenarios. Firstly, the talks for Starfield's exclusivity could be entirely off the table now with the Microsoft acquisition. Alternatively, as Khan notes, Sony could still be negotiating for a timed exclusivity period, but Starfield's price might have just shot through the ceiling with the acquisition.
We can't say we're too surprised by the news that Sony was attempting to negotiate timed exclusivity for Starfield though, considering it has successfully secured a similar deal for Bethesda games Deathloop (opens in new tab) and Ghostwire: Tokyo (opens in new tab).
Either way, the acquisition of Bethesda by Microsoft (opens in new tab) rocked the games industry yesterday. Microsoft is aiming for the acquisition deal to go through in the second half of the 2021 fiscal year, and if it does, Microsoft will have control over countless Bethesda IPs, including Wolfenstein, Dishonored, Fallout, and more.
There's a lot left to unpack with the acquisition, but you can check out our feature on what the acquisition could mean for Dishonored, Fallout, Deathloop, and more Bethesda games.