Sony Interactive Entertainment has reportedly been trying to obtain a timed exclusivity agreement for Starfield on PlayStation 5.
Taking to Twitter just now, Kinda Funny Games co-host and former Game Informer senior editor Imran Khan stated that negotiations were underway in the past few months. However, there is no confirmation on how those negotiations ended.
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.
— Imran Khan (@imranzomg) September 21, 2020
Microsoft, as of earlier today, has moved to acquire ZeniMax Media, the parent company of Bethesda Softworks. Hence, all franchises like The Elder Scrolls and Fallout, as well as Starfield, are now officially owned by Microsoft.
Discussions for such large-scale acquisitions usually begin months in advance. Sony was either able to successfully obtain a timed exclusivity period for Starfield on PS5 or failed. If negotiations were still ongoing, the announcement from Microsoft will have possibly raised the price of any console-exclusivity agreement. Should that be the case, Sony must decide whether or not to pay the now hefty sum to limit Starfield to PS5 for a brief period.
That being said, chances of any console exclusivity looks slim for Sony. Microsoft has already announced that Starfield will be available through Xbox Game Pass on day one. That may as well extend to Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S unless Microsoft was perfectly fine with Starfield being console-exclusive to PS5 before signing off on the acquisition. The game will still generate sales for Microsoft on PC.
Starfield is the first new franchise from Bethesda Softworks in well over two decades. The epic science-fiction role-playing game will remain in development for at least a couple of more years if not more. The developer has pointed out at numerous instances that the release of Starfield is still a long way off and the game will only be shown to the public when ready.