By Adam Hood
Hello everyone, Kirklees Gaming here to bring you some of the game industry’s most important news this year. In some shocking news that was announced on the 21st September, Microsoft has acquired ZeniMax Media, the parent of Bethesda, known for franchises such as Fallout and The Elder Scrolls.
The deal for ZeniMax Media will cost Microsoft $7.5 billion (£5.85 billion), and will include all other studios under ZeniMax such as id Software, Arkane Studios, MachineGames, and Tango Gameworks.
Because of this acquisition, Microsoft will now own all of ZeniMax Media’s significant franchises such as:
- The Elder Scrolls
- The Evil Within
It has been announced that the deal’s legal fine print will not be finalised until a later date. However, they have said that once the sale is completed, the Bethesda games will be added to Xbox Game Pass as first-party titles.
Ironically Bethesda had made two deals with PlayStation to have two of their games, Deathloop by Arkane Studios and Ghostwire: Tokyo by Tango Gameworks, as two console exclusives. Microsoft has confirmed that the contracts will be honored. Still, any future Bethesda games will be released on other consoles on a case by case basis.
It is hard to tell whether Microsoft will make all future Bethesda games as Xbox exclusives permanently or timed exclusives as preventing games such as Doom from going to PlayStation would make many fans outraged and could cause some backlash for Microsoft.
In a blog about the acquisition, Xbox boss Phil Spencer chose to skim over this and did not confirm their attitudes to Bethesda exclusives. Instead, he decided to say ‘One of the things that has me most excited is seeing the roadmap with Bethesda’s future games, some announced and many unannounced, to Xbox console and PC including Starfield, the highly anticipated, new space epic currently in development by Bethesda Game Studios.
Starfield is a highly anticipated game, and with this acquisition, you wouldn’t be wrong to expect it to be exclusive. Funnily enough, Sony had been in talks with Bethesda about making Starfield a Playstation 5 console exclusive.
Pete Hines, Bethesda marketing boss, wrote in his own blog, ‘The key point is we’re still Bethesda. We’re still working on the same games we were yesterday, made by the same studios we’ve worked with for years, and those games will be published by us’.
This has been confirmed by Phil Spencer that Bethesda Studios will have some autonomy in their work. So while this is unusual for the studio’s acquired by companies by console sellers like Microsoft, we should find more details later.
The face of Bethesda, Todd Howard, also wrote in his own blog saying, ‘We share a deep belief in the fundamental power of games, in their ability to connect, empower, and bring joy. And a belief we should bring that to everyone – regardless of who you are, where you live, or what you play on. Regardless of the screen size, the controller, or your ability to even use one’.
‘We can’t think of a better group of people to do that with than those at Xbox. We have friendships that go back to those original days. From Phil to his senior leaders to developer support, they don’t just talk about putting players first, they passionately live it.’
Overall, this has become a massive change in the industry. It will allow Bethesda access to better resources and give them more financial support that they have needed for years now. Hopefully, it can also help recover Bethesda’s reputation from its previous game, Fallout 76.
It also makes the new consoles from Xbox coming this November all that more appealing. Since you have great deals on the consoles. You can have Game Pass for £7.99 for the base subscription and for Game Pass Ultimate for 10.99, which includes cloud gaming so you can play games on your phone. Along with EA Play coming to Game Pass and now Bethesda. The deal just keeps getting better.