Hey, so… you know how the complaint about Microsoft not having a lot of exclusives? Yeah, about that… Microsoft just bought some of the arguably biggest franchises in gaming to bring into their stable. Details of the agreement aren’t public yet; Zenimax, the parent of Bethesda and the various studios that make their game were private companies. There was a lot of whispers that their move into live service and microtransaction fare in the past few years was specifically to court of buyout.
Needless to say, this was likely a multi-billion year, and if history is any indication, those studios will continue to operate as their own thing under the Microsoft umbrella. I’ve had more than my share of issues with how Bethesda has been as company, and Fallout 76 was a wet turd of a game… but there’s still a lot of talent and ideas in there. By all accounts, the new Doom game was great, Skyrim is still one of the best open world RPGs ever made, and they are bringing in series like Dishonored, Wolfenstein, Prey, Starfield, and many others.
The strategy of Microsoft in this is pretty obvious, they are about bringing gaming everywhere. The immediate impacts won’t be felt with this… but in the future, when all of Bethesda’s releases show up on Game Pass first, it will be hard to deny the value of what Xbox is doing.
Side note… Microsoft now owns Bethesda, and also owns Obsidian, a company that Bethesda famously screwed over with Fallout: New Vegas, and who made the best not-Fallout Fallout game. Just saying…
Edit: Jason Schreier just detailed some things on Twitter, and the deal is reportedly for $7.5 billion… which honestly feels like a steal. Also, Microsoft is now publishing two PS5 timed-exclusives in Deathloop and Ghostwire: Tokyo… so there’s that.