Xbox chief Phil Spencer has revealed one of the main reasons for the acquisition of Bethesda’s parent company ZeniMax: the PlayStation-exclusive game Starfield, reports The Verge. During the hearing in the FTC’s case against Microsoft, Phil revealed that Sony regularly pays its competitors to leapfrog Xbox, and that Microsoft believes that if it owns Bethesda, it will be able to compete decently.

The acquisition of ZeniMax Media cost Microsoft $7.5 billion. In closing the deal, Microsoft promised Xbox and PC exclusive games and has so far delivered Redfall and Starfield will debut on September 6. Bethesda’s upcoming Indiana Jones game is also an Xbox and PC exclusive.

“When we acquired ZeniMax one of the impetus for that is that Sony had done a deal for Deathloop and Ghostwire… to pay Bethesda to not ship those games on Xbox. So the discussion about Starfield when we heard that Starfield was potentially also going to end up skipping Xbox, we can’t be in a position as a third-place console where we fall further behind on our content ownership so we’ve had to secure content to remain viable in the business.”

said Spencer.

Buying Bethesda and acquiring Activision Blizzard, according to the Xbox boss is a way to compete with Sony. The proposed deal with Activision Blizzard is valued at $68.7 billion.

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