During the Xbox CFO’s testimony at the recent court hearings, a report revealed that Microsoft had estimated Starfield and Indiana Jones to sell 10 million copies on the PS5 before canceling the release.
Why it matters: Exclusives have always been significant for gamers looking to buy consoles. Microsoft’s forecast of higher sales for both games and subsequently canceling them shows the gaming giant’s dedication to building a solid first-party catalog.
Had missed this from Xbox CFO Tim Stuart's testimony, but FTC says Microsoft had forecasted 10 million sales on PlayStation for "both Starfield and Indiana Jones" before taking them exclusive, deciding it could recoup through Game Pass and extra Xbox sales pic.twitter.com/5KdpDzKDZD
— Stephen Totilo (@stephentotilo) July 13, 2023
The report further reveals that Microsoft made those games Xbox exclusives because the company believed it could offset the loss in PlayStation sales through Game Pass subscriptions and Xbox console sales.
However, this may be difficult, with Microsoft selling just over half as many Xbox Series S|X consoles as the PS5. Still, both games are heavily anticipated, and Starfield is shaping to be among the best games of 2023.
This anticipation could mean that Xbox can achieve its goals, even with the massive lead from the PS5. It should also be noted that the court hearings have revealed potential exclusivity for every Bethesda title going forward.
Microsoft has likely come to a similar conclusion for the other games.
Starfield is set to launch later this year, promising the biggest game from Bethesda Game Studios. While not much is known about Indiana Jones, the AAA game is also anticipated to be a vital asset for Xbox.
Since all future Xbox first-party titles will be available on Game Pass at release, the subscription will play a significant role in Xbox console sales. Nearly every Call of Duty game could also join the service by 2025, making it even more valuable to Xbox.
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