Microsoft looks to be planning Xbox exclusive bundles of Bethesda titles – with Arkane and Wolfenstein collections

Microsoft is looking to put Bethesda’s back catalogue to work in the near future. Entries on the US ESRB rating site show two new compilations of Bethesda titles, with both labelled as heading exclusively to Xbox Series consoles, or at least for now.

The “Dishonored and Prey Arkane Collection” will consist of “four first-person shooters/role-playing games” which are presumably Dishonored, Dishonored 2 and Dishonored: Death of the Outsider (a standalone expansion) plus 2017’s Prey of course.

While the “Wolfenstein Alt History Collection” will consist of “four first-person shooters” which are presumably Wolfenstein, Wolfenstein: The New Order, Wolfenstein: The Old Blood and Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus. As the entry notes they all concern games “in which players assume the role of a US army ranger” which excludes Wolfenstein: Youngblood.

Intriguingly both entries are only marked as ‘Xbox Series’ under platform. The idea of such collections being exclusive to Xbox is fairly reasonable, and they may well come with updates to make best use of the new hardware (especially Dishonored, that was capped at 30fps on current gen consoles).

However, it does seem strange that Microsoft wouldn’t also release the collections on current-gen Xbox hardware as well. That may either point towards more strongly Xbox Series improvements, or be an acceptance that these games have sold all they can on the current machines (though we doubt that if the bundles are well-priced).

Intriguingly Xbox Series isn’t even a category you can search by on the ESRB site yet, so maybe it’s just a temporary thing, a labelling error so to speak.

Still, it’s intriguing that Microsoft is keen to delve into its newly-acquired back catalogue so quickly, and that it feels there’s still value to be found there, above and beyond the continued sales of such games standalone on the Xbox Store.

There’s no indication yet if these will be purely digital bundles or will have physical counterparts, but the latter seems unlikely given that they would need to be multi-disc by our calculations.

About Seth Barton

Seth Barton is the editor of MCV – which covers every aspect of the industry: development, publishing, marketing and much more. Before that Seth toiled in games retail at Electronics Boutique, studied film at university, published console and PC games for the BBC, and spent many years working in tech journalism. Living in South East London, he divides his little free time between board games, video games, beer and family. You can find him tweeting @sethbarton1.

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