A lot of new insights have come forward during the legal trial between Xbox/Activision and the Federal Trade Commission. Reportedly, there was an agreement between Disney and ZeniMax for a multiplatform Indiana Jones Game. After the acquisition of Bethesda, the agreement was amended to make the Indiana Jones game an Xbox and PC exclusive, leaving out PlayStation. Bethesda’s Pete Hines commented that the game will be released on Game Pass on day one itself.
A fair amount of email conversation has been discussed during the trial and those have contributed to the decision making process.
One of the emails between Xbox CEO, Phil Spencer, Xbox Studios head Matt Booty, and several other executives, read, “While it is not in our messaging, I think it is important to highlight that Lucasfilm brought up the issue of platforms because we have a signed agreement with them to develop the game for multiple consoles,“
In January 2021, Spencer wrote in an email, “The upside here is a game coming from Bethesda that everyone will be excited about. This is the most important thing. The downside for Xbox…is that a large percentage of output from Bethesda won’t directly benefit the Xbox community in any way.”
The reveal trailer for the Indiana Jones Game was released back in January. The game is set in Rome in 1937. The story touches on The Raiders of the Lost Ark and The Last Crusade. There is quite a bit of hype built around the release of the game among Indy fans. A lot of PS5 users who were eager to play the game must be disheartened by the decision.
Nevertheless, Bethesda’s Hine is relieved that the game will come out for Game Pass as well as Xbox. He said, “Truthfully, we also kind of liked the idea of embracing, bringing it to Game Pass and how many players we could get there.“
Indiana Jones is owned by Lucasfilm, and it is them who brought up the issue of platform exclusivity of the game. Unlike Starfield on which Bethesda has some control, Indiana Jones’ future is beyond their jurisdiction.