It will not have escaped your notice that numerous documents and email exchanges from Microsoft were leaked last week. The latter thus reveal that Fallout 76 could have been abandoned by Microsoft.
Fallout 76 in PlayStation Plus, a solution to achieve your objectives
The Gamer has indeed spotted an email from September 1, 2021 in which Phil Spencer explains that if Fallout 76 did not manage to reach 10 million active players monthly, it would then have been necessary to “move on to something else”. Remember that Microsoft only held the license since March 9, 2021 following the acquisition of Bethesda.
I feel like this game needs to hit 10 million monthly active users across all platforms or we decide to move on.
This is probably the reason why Bethesda’s multiplayer title arrived on PlayStation Now in October 2021. The title was also offered free to all PlayStation Plus subscribers in January 2023.
If you think PSNow can make it more relevant, then I support you.
Phil Spencer also underlines in this email that the integration of a license belonging to Xbox in PlayStation Now is exceptional. The Redmond firm did not wish to do such an operation with Minecraft since it would have strengthened Sony’s financial position. This solution was however possible for Fallout 76 which failed to achieve its objectives.
I agree with F76 in PSNow. We have not allowed Minecraft to support PSNow because we view PSNow as a competitor to XGP and we do not need to support their financial position with PSNow, which would simply allow them to compete more effectively with XGP.
With hindsight, it seems that Microsoft finally changed its mind, since 13 Bethesda games joined the PlayStation Plus Premium and Extra catalog this year: Doom Eternal, Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus, The Evil Within, Wolfenstein: The Old Blood, Doom, Doom II, Doom 64, Doom 3, Dishonored: Definitive Edition, Dishonored 2, Dishonored: Death of the Outsider, The Evil Within 2 and Wolfenstein: Youngblood.
In this case, it is a safe bet that it was a strategy by Microsoft to try to convince the FTC, the European Commission and the CMA of its good capacity to offer its games resulting from repurchases in competing catalogs.