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Bethesda's Pete Hines Apologizes to PlayStation Players About Starfield Xbox Exclusivity

Bethesda's Pete Hines Apologizes to PlayStation Players About Starfield Xbox Exclusivity - News

by William D'Angelo , posted on 01 July 2021 / 3,081 Views

Publisher Bethesda Softworks and developer Bethesda Game Studios over the weekend announced at E3 2021 Starfield will be an Xbox console exclusive and it will launch on November 11, 2022 for the Xbox Series X|S and PC. 

SVP of global marketing and communications at Bethesda Pete Hines speaking with GameSpot understands the frustration from PlayStation players who want to play Starfield

"I totally understand if you are unhappy or pissed or whatever," said Hines. "I get it. Those are all real feelings and frustrations. How should you deal with that? I haven't the foggiest idea. I would never presume to say, Here's how you can make it better and feel better.

"I don’t know how to allay the fears and concerns of PlayStation 5 fans other than to say, I’m a PlayStation 5 player as well, and I’ve played games on that console, and there’s games I’m going to continue to play on it, but if you want to play Starfield, [it’s on] PC and Xbox.

"Sorry. All I can really say is I apologize, because I’m certain that that’s frustrating to folks, but there’s not a whole lot I can do about it."

Bethesda Game Studios’ Todd Howard in a different interview said that being able to focus on fewer platforms, since the game isn't coming to the PlayStation 5, will make for a better game. 

"Pick a side' meaning… PlayStation? Is that what you mean? Well.. a little bit," said Howard at the time. "You don’t ever want to leave people out, right? But at the end of the day, your ability to focus and say, this is the game I want to make, these are the platforms I want to make it on, and being able to really lean in on those is going to make for a better product.

"By focusing on those platforms, you really get to lean in a lot on making it the best it can be for those systems. [...] And we’re big believers in all of the avenues that Xbox and Microsoft are doing to get games to more people. Whether that’s the integration with the PC, which is huge for us, the cloud streaming and all those things."


A life-long and avid gamer, William D'Angelo was first introduced to VGChartz in 2007. After years of supporting the site, he was brought on in 2010 as a junior analyst, working his way up to lead analyst in 2012. He has expanded his involvement in the gaming community by producing content on his own YouTube channel and Twitch channel dedicated to gaming Let's Plays and tutorials. You can contact the author at wdangelo@vgchartz.com or on Twitter @TrunksWD.


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75 Comments
gtotheunit91 (on 16 June 2021)

If there was gonna be a PS5 version of a future Bethesda game, especially BGS, it would've been Starfield. But that's business for you. I read soooooooo many comments from people saying that Bethesda games, especially games like Elder Scrolls VI, were still gonna come to PlayStation and there was nothing you could say that would convince them otherwise.

I hope this is the final nail in the coffin that will make everyone understand that you don't spend $7.5 billion to put your games on other platforms. At least new games.

  • +28

I actually think Elders Scrolls and Fallout would be the most likely games to stay, since they're already established franchises on PS and thus have the greatest chance of selling well. I still don't think it's very likely that Microsoft will allow this but it's certainly not impossible, especially with a delayed release.

  • -2
chakkra SuperNintend0rk (on 16 June 2021)

Errr... I would say that that is exactly what makes those games perfect to be exclusives.

  • +10
SuperNintend0rk chakkra (on 16 June 2021)

Perhaps but it makes them even more perfect to be timed exclusives. Best of both worlds. Just look at what Sony's doing on PC. No one thought that would happen a few years ago.

  • -1
Azzanation SuperNintend0rk (on 17 June 2021)

This isnt the case with the Bethesda buyout. These games are brand pushes, much like how Mario or TLOU push Nintendo and PS ecosystems. Mario and TLOU could easily sell millions more on multi devices but they choose for brand recognition over sales.

If these Bethesda games dont do well on PC and Xbox i can see them considering expanding into multiplat territory but thats another big maybe.

MS already brings thier games to PC to satisfy fans not wanting to buy into the Xbox consoles, so the options are their.

  • +2
SuperNintend0rk Azzanation (on 17 June 2021)

M$ may change their mind when they see how much lower the sales are without PS.

  • -1
Azzanation SuperNintend0rk (on 17 June 2021)

That logic applies to all companies not just MS. Also MS doesn't need to care what other fans think, its as simple as if you want to play the game than they know what to do.

  • +1
SuperNintend0rk Azzanation (on 17 June 2021)

I agree but I still think that out of the big 3, Microsoft is the most likely to bring games to competitor platforms, especially the Switch.

  • 0

You can keep hope alive but its very obvious that MS is pushing Gamepass and if something doesn't support it then it will not be getting those games. MS is way more focused on making GP a huge success then the money lost not being on PS. With all the ways MS plans on having their games played via GP, there is no way they will let huge system sellers show up on competition system unless they allow GP on those system. MS has never been a charity but most important is that their focus on GP as it shows with this E3 drives everything.

  • +4

I get that but at the same time, they're still releasing their games on Steam. That's just as much their competition as PlayStation is.

  • 0
Azzanation SuperNintend0rk (on 18 June 2021)

It's a completely different competition. Steam and MS compliment each other because Steam helps sell Windows. Gamers end up getting access to MS services. On the PS platforms, customers cannot access MSs services which is the key part to MSs buisness plans. Hence why they say the games will go where GamePass goes.

  • 0
SuperNintend0rk Azzanation (on 18 June 2021)

True but they could still sell more Game Pass subs if they kept their games exclusive to it. If they're willing to sell them on a competing store like Steam, it's possible they'll also bring them to PS one day.

  • 0
Azzanation SuperNintend0rk (on 18 June 2021)

You are missing the point. The fact that majority of Steam users use Windows means Steam gamers have full access to MS services which stretches far outside of gaming, so potential Steam customers are also MS customers. If a game releases on a PS platform, they are Sony customers not MS, and MS make their money off services, this is why they are driving hard with GamePass. If Sony allows GamePass on the PS5 than 100% all Bethesda games will be playable on PS, that's up to Sony as MS want GP on all platforms.

I wouldn't be surprised if years later the games reach PS however that's not something ill be holding my breath for.

  • 0
SuperNintend0rk Azzanation (on 18 June 2021)

That's what I'm thinking. Most people who are willing to sub to GP to play Bethesda games will do so within a few years of their release so they might eventually come to PS. That way MS would get to have their cake and eat it too. It's not very likely but not impossible.

  • +1

You still missing the point. People will hold out if they believe a game will come to their platform of choice which is exactly why they will not come to PS without gamepass. MS is service oriented company with the new CEO and everything they do drives the focus of those services. MS does not care about the lost of sales not being on the PS, they care only about how they can extend the reach of GP and the amount of subs. MS do not care about PS only gamers just like Sony doesn't care about Xbox only gamers. The thing is MS do not need PS sales just like Sony does not need Xbox sales.

  • +1

I get that but if they don't care about sales, why are they selling their games on Steam? Seems like they want the best of both worlds on PC so why not on consoles too? They've already done it on Switch.

  • +1
Azzanation SuperNintend0rk (on 19 June 2021)

Steam helps sell Windows. PlayStation does not. Switch is a portable device which allows Xbox Accounts.

  • +4
SuperNintend0rk Azzanation (on 19 June 2021)

It seems like we actually agree overall. It's not likely that Microsoft will bring Bethesda games to PS but a delayed release is not impossible.

  • +1
Imaginedvl SuperNintend0rk (on 17 June 2021)

No games are staying unless there is a subscription attached to it or have a contract already with them; that's what they meant by legacy. Seriously, people need to stop with this nonsense. Next Fallout and ES will be Xbox/PC exclusive... Simple as that.

  • +2
SuperNintend0rk Imaginedvl (on 17 June 2021)

Like I said, I don't think it's very likely but I'm definitely not going to say it's impossible.

  • 0
KratosLives gtotheunit91 (on 17 June 2021)
  • -7
Barozi (on 17 June 2021)

No need to apologize honestly.
The Bethesda acquisition was announced before PS5 even released so PS5 owners knew beforehand that they wouldn't get Starfield, Elder Scrolls VI and many other Bethesda games when buying their PS5 console. They decided against those games when making their buying decision so there's no reason to be angry.

  • +22
Signalstar (on 16 June 2021)

That's business...

  • +17
Azzanation (on 17 June 2021)

Why apologise? Its not like Sony put games on Xbox consoles. Those that are upset only see it as a one way street. Basically thinking along the lines of, they should buy a PS to play PS exclusives and it does not work the other way, until other companies do it and they notice exclusives hurt others.

Iv read plenty of posts saying "why buy an Xbox when they have a PC" than they have nothing to worry about.

Its a buisess, if people love exclusives than expect the bad with the good.

  • +15
Rafie (on 16 June 2021)

Well at least he apologized for the frustration that PS players are going through concerning this game. He didn't have to if we're being honest. However, it was a nice thing to do. Like others said already...this is an Xbox exclusive as others will be coming from Zenimax. Got to move on if you're still hoping for a PS version.

  • +12
TheLegendaryBigBoss Rafie (on 17 June 2021)

Yeah it's frustrating for PS only players but Microsoft bought Bethesda. It's their studio and they can put their games on which platform they choose. At least they are putting it on PC and xcloud which means you aren't forced to buy an Xbox.

  • +4
Legit (on 17 June 2021)

What's there to apologise ? Business is business

  • +6
The Fury Legit (on 17 June 2021)

While I agree, he's still human. He recognises the situation as a very frustrating one because it's the first time a major game publisher, who regularly releases games on all platforms is actually bought out by an actual platform maker. I respect him for at least acknowledging it.

  • +3
Vizigoth04 (on 16 June 2021)

As a PS5 owner it’s logic. Microsoft made a business move and its fair. If I want to play Starfield I’m going to have to subscribe to GamePass or get it on PC. That’s how you gain a user base regardless. So if I have time and later in life when I can Subscribe to GamePass or play it on PC then I’ll just wait.

  • +4
KratosLives Vizigoth04 (on 18 June 2021)
  • -5
fauzman Vizigoth04 (on 18 June 2021)

Yes. I think you have put it best. It was expected and makes sense for MS. And PS5 owners should have known what they are getting into. I am awaiting my PS5 at the moment and know that I likely will not get play any Bethesda games (in the future (excepting those already announced for the PS5) .

  • +1
KratosLives fauzman (on 18 June 2021)

most people who bought a ps5 have no idea about the aquisition. I'm sure alot of people on ps4,xbox one, when they buy aps5 they will be in surprise when they see fallout not on there later./

  • -1
Azzanation KratosLives (on 20 June 2021)

Thats the people's choice. If it comes down to it, they can always trade in their console for the other. There are always options. If they brought the wrong console thats on them. This acquisition was done before these consoles launched so they had plenty of time to decide.

  • 0
Alby_da_Wolf (on 17 June 2021)

It was expected. Anyhow, MS isn't using it to push XBS at all costs, it made it available on PC too, as long as people play on one of its platforms MS is fine.
About Fallout and ES, it depends: if Sony and Bethesda stroke a deal before the acquisition, they'll be on PS5, if they didn't it will depend on how many profits MS is ready to sacrifice, the larger PS5 user base will become, the higher the possibility of their release on it, possibly after a MS platform timed exclusivity, but it also depends on how many PS players will accept to either buy an XBS too, or a PC, or use a PC they already own to play Bethesda games not ported to PS5.
Anyhow, if I were Sony or a PS gamer I wouldn't hold my breath.

  • +3
yvanjean (on 16 June 2021)

How easily they forget that Sony was in talk to lock down this game to the Playstation eco system. Instead this game is made available to Xbox, PC and eventually Xcloud. If you really cared and want to play this game there will be an option for you to do so.

  • +2
Trentonater yvanjean (on 17 June 2021)

I think that's exactly why he acknowledged it. PS5 development was definitely something they had in mind and they were likely developing intensive dualsense features like Deathloop and Ghostwire are.

  • 0
SanAndreasX (on 17 June 2021)

No great loss. Obsidian being bought out actually sucked more than Bethesda being bought out did. Japanese RPGs are more my cup of tea. And hopefully CD Projekt learned something from Cyberpunk.

  • 0
Machiavellian (on 17 June 2021)

Not sure why any company would make an apology, that implies that they did something wrong. You do not see any company making any exclusive for any particular platform making apologies for their decision. They all do it for the best of their company.

Do you see Sony apologizing for making exclusive FF7 or the Remake or even Square. We all know once Bethesda was sold, that ever single game they make from here on out can and probably will be exclusive to the MS eco system.
As for MS caring about the lost sales, people really do not understand just how much money MS make on a hold as a company. The lost sales from the PS system is not MS gameplan, they are looking at something way bigger and that is the billion of devices out there and a Game subscription to get people to sub. People need to stop thinking that MS is making Bethesda games exclusive to the Xbox because that is not the real goal. The real goal is that they are going to make it exclusive to their eco system which in turn will be the driving force for GP subs. This is why all Bethesda games will be day one on GP and MS will make it loud and clear, if you want to play these games, get GP. We do not care what device you use as long as GP can be run on it you are good to go.

  • 0
KratosLives Machiavellian (on 18 June 2021)

They're trying to soften the blow of backlash once fallout and elder scrolls releases.

  • -1
Dante9 (on 17 June 2021)

No need for him to apologize. Frustration should be directed towards Microsoft. Buying exclusivity for a single game or even a single studio here and there is one thing, but to buy a whole publisher is pretty extreme money muscling. But business is business and companies are companies.

  • 0
pariz (on 17 June 2021)

This overly polite behaviour actually works as throwing salt into a wound. :P
My opinion is that they should not apologize. Is a business decision and time will tell if it was the right one (which I think it is).

  • -1
Giggity_goo (on 16 June 2021)

everyone is making out this game is going to be the game of the decade without even seeing any gameplay or even much written info about it

  • -3
shikamaru317 Giggity_goo (on 16 June 2021)

Bethesda has a very good track record for singleplayer RPG's . Games like Oblivion, Fallout 3, and Skyrim reviewed very well, with Skyrim and Oblivion winning GOTY in the years they released, and Fallout 3 and Fallout 4 being nominated for GOTY. Fallout 4 was a bit of a misstep by them, and Fallout 76 an even bigger misstep (though most of it's development was done by a new studio rather than the original team), but they seem to be taking their time and trying to learn from their mistakes. People complained about the graphics and performance issues of Creation engine, so they are rebuilding Creation engine from the ground up for Starfield. People complained about the huge amount of bugs in earlier Bethesda games, so they are spending several years longer developing it than any previous Bethesda game.

  • +4
Imaginedvl Giggity_goo (on 17 June 2021)

Well... Looking at Bethesda track records for single player RPG. I would say that everyone is pretty much on point to believe that ;-)

  • +4
KratosLives Giggity_goo (on 18 June 2021)

That was probably the worst teaser I have ever seen. I love how they show nothing and then put out a date of release, being 1.5 years away.

  • -3
shikamaru317 KratosLives (on 18 June 2021)

I think they showed us plenty for a teaser trailer.

  • It's an in-game trailer, so we now have a good idea of the level of graphics to expect, and it confirms that the game is on the brand new Creation engine 2, rather than the original, janky Creation engine.
  • We get a clear picture of the level of sci-fi technology they are aiming for, and it's a lower level of technology. The ship doesn't look very advanced, analog controls instead of touch or holographic controls, massive engines and thrust needed to get off the ground. His weapon appears to be a projectile weapon, so humanity likely doesn't use directed energy weapons yet.
  • The narration alludes to the storyline of the game, the player discovering a secret that is of vital importance for Humankind's exploration of space (possibly some kind of faster method of space travel). There is a diagram shown on the wall when the narrator says that what you have found is the key to everything, suggesting that the diagram shows us what this key is.
  • One of the possible companions is a robot who is in the trailer
  • Todd confirmed that they hid plenty of secrets and Easter Eggs in the trailer for fans to discover when analyzing it. For instance there is a book on a shelf which has a plot that alludes to Earth being gone, which would mean that the humans in the game are the last of mankind, trying to keep the species alive through colonization of other planets.

    Outside of the trailer, Todd Howard confirmed more details, like saying that 1st and 3rd person options will return, just like their earlier RPG's, that the game plays similarly to the other RPG's they are known for, but with a few new systems and mechanics.

  • +1
KratosLives shikamaru317 (on 18 June 2021)

They could have showed something to get excited for, not an environment that looks like the surface of the moon.

I bet that the game will get delayed a few months from launch. Don't think they have much to show yet.

  • -2
KratosLives (on 17 June 2021)
  • -9
JRPGfan (on 17 June 2021)
  • -12
kazuyamishima (on 16 June 2021)
  • -17