Out of nowhere, Microsoft’s Xbox team purchased ZeniMax Media for $7.5 billion. Now several developers come under Microsoft’s umbrella, including Id Software and Bethesda Softworks. Now for those of you who don’t know, after acquiring these developers, Microsoft holds the rights to games such as Doom, Rage, Wolfenstein, the Fallout games and The Elder Scroll series whose latest title sold more than 20 million copies earning it a place among the most sold games of all time.
This move by Microsoft was unexpected, especially after seeing how Bethesda was more deeply involved with Sony lately with Deathloop and Ghostwire: Tokyo being timed exclusives on the PS5. Regardless it is needless to say that this purchase by Microsoft is one of the most expensive in the video game industry. It could be the most impactful too.
Will future Bethesda titles no longer be playable on Sony’s console?
Soon after reading this news, most gamers might immediately start thinking whether there beloved Bethesda titles will be playable on the PS5. Well, the answer is yes for now, but that doesn’t mean Sony will not feel the impact of this expensive purchase.
It was confirmed by Phil Spencer, head of Xbox Studios, that other consoles will still receive Bethesda’s upcoming titles on a “case-by-case basis.” Playstation fans will still receive the timed exclusives Deathloop and Ghostwire: Tokyo on the PS5. However, whether future titles will still keep coming remains unsure.
Microsoft is playing a different game then Sony
The thing is Microsoft is no longer trying to compete with Sony on exclusives; it’s playing a different game than Sony. Xbox’s decisions from the past three years show that it no longer cares for exclusives, as it’s most loved exclusive series Halo, isn’t exclusive anymore. Through xCloud, even Android users can play Halo on their smartphones.
Microsoft’s strategy has changed from favouring exclusivity to making games more accessible to consumers. Acquiring Bethesda means now Xbox players will be able to play the games through the Xbox Game Pass service, even on the launch date. However, Sony has followed a tried-and-true strategy where it acquires developers and then works with them to produce titles which brings both fans and sales. Sony also tries to keep good relations with independent Japanese partners such as From Software and Square Enix, which helps them get their games as exclusives without even acquiring the studios.
Will Sony respond to Xbox?
The acquiring of Bethesda is for sure a big step by Microsoft, and one which will impact Sony in a lot of ways but whether Sony will respond in any way remains unclear. Fans have started calling Sony to acquire Konami. But the problem here is that calling for more exclusives is not what is beneficial for the gaming community. If both Sony and Microsoft start acquiring as many third-party developers as they can, things can get pretty bad.
Games becoming Xbox exclusives serve the gaming community better
Xbox exclusives will be available on the Xbox Game Pass and PC. If future Bethesda games even stop to release on the PS5, it would be a lot better than Sony acquiring it. Sony is notorious for keeping games only Playstation exclusive and is also now jumping to price tags as high as $70 for its next-generation games. Unlike Xbox, PS5 exclusives will also not be immediately accessible on Plyastation’s subscription service.
A list of all the studios owned by Microsoft:
Source: The Verge
Alpha Dog (Wraithborne, Monstrocity: Rampage)
Arkane Studios (Dishonored, Prey, Deathloop)
Bethesda Game Studios (The Elder Scrolls, Fallout, Starfield)
id Software: (Doom, Quake, Rage)
Roundhouse Studios (TBA)
Tango Gameworks (The Evil Within, Ghostwire: Tokyo)
ZeniMax Online Studios (The Elder Scrolls Online, Fallout 76)
Xbox Game Studios
343 Industries (Halo)
The Coalition: Gears of War 4, Gears 5, Gears Tactics
Compulsion Games (Contrast, We Happy Few)
Double Fine Productions (Psychonauts, Brutal Legend, Broken Age)
The Initiative (TBA)
inXile Entertainment (The Bard’s Tale, Wasteland)
Mojang Studios (Minecraft, Minecraft Dungeons)
Ninja Theory (Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice, Project: Mara, Bleeding Edge)
Obsidian Entertainment (Star Wars: Knight of the Old Republic, Fallout: New Vegas, The Outer Worlds)
Playground Games (Fable, Forza Horizon)
Rare (Donkey Kong Country, Everwild, Battletoads, Banjo-Kazooie, Perfect Dark, Sea of Thieves, Killer Instinct)
Turn 10 Studios (Forza Motorsport)
Undead Labs (State of Decay)
If you are not deciding to spend all that cash on the next-gen consoles then why not try to spend it on five gaming essentials every gamer must have.