Xbox boss Phil Spencer says his goal is to get more people playing Bethesda’s next epic, Starfield, than the company’s legendary Skyrim.
And yes, despite the fact that Starfield will completely skip PlayStation.
Speaking to Axios reporter Stephen Totilo in comments posted via TwitterSpencer said his vision for Starfield was for it to be the “most played Todd Howard game of all time”, in reference to the Bethesda game designer and director.
Measuring the number of people playing Xbox Game Studios titles has been key for Microsoft lately, as the company announced franchise-best milestones of 20 million players for Halo Infinite and 18 million for Forza Horizon 5.
“I love the stats from Forza 5 and Halo…I love how many people have played Psychonauts 2 vs. Psychonauts 1,” Spencer said. “So when I look at teams, when Todd and I talk about Starfield, it’s, ‘How can we make sure this is Todd Howard’s most played game of all time?’
“As a platform, I think we have a lot to do with it. Title quality is number one, there’s no doubt…” Spencer continued. “But it will be a hit for me for individual games: Can we really make these games – can we allow them to reach more players than they’ve ever seen before? And I say that because I believe in the social impact of interactive entertainment.”
“Well, this specific question of, ‘Hey, there’s only one place I want to play games. What if this game doesn’t end on the only place I want to play that has its own business requirements for me as a creator? These people can go and play these games…
—Stephen Totilo (@stephentotilo) February 8, 2022
On the one hand, Starfield will – like the games above – be available from day one via Xbox Game Pass on console and PC. But on the other, Spencer says he wants Starfield’s reach on those platforms to go beyond Skyrim’s entire PlayStation audience.
And, surely, if Spencer only cares about getting games into the hands of as many people as possible, why make Starfield an Xbox-exclusive console?
When asked if Microsoft’s policy is really as generous as it looks, Spencer’s response was a bit fuzzy:
“Well, this specific question like, ‘Hey, there’s only one place I want to play games. And if this game doesn’t end on the one place I want to play, that’s its own business requirements for me as a creator…these people can go and play these games…they’ll just say, I choose not to, because it’s not on the only device that has specific sound [trails off]. So I understand.”
Regarding the addition of Activision Blizzard to Microsoft, Spencer said his desire to see more people playing games of course includes his titles.
“I want more people to play WoW in five years than today. I want more people to play Call of Duty in five years, more people to play Candy Crush in five years, because we made it more accessible to more people.”