How Microsoft’s Bethesda Acquisition Affects the Industry
Microsoft surprised everyone when they bought Bethesda, a well-known giant in the gaming industry, along with its parent company, ZeniMax Media, for a staggering $7.5 billion. To date, this is the priciest acquisition Microsoft has ever made in the gaming industry. ZeniMax Media is home to a lot of game studios and other divisions such as Bethesda Softworks, Bethesda Game Studios, id Software, Arkane Studios, Tango Gameworks, MachineGames, ZeniMax Online Studios, Alpha Dog Games, Roundhouse Studios, etc. Out of all the other subsidiaries, Bethesda was the main priority of the acquisition, as Microsoft is aiming to boost its competitiveness in the gaming console world.
What is Bethesda?
Bethesda is one of the leading game studios in the industry. To be precise, they were ranked in first place, as the best publisher in 2018. Five of the eight studios which are under Bethesda have produced “Game of the Year” games and won that award for five consecutive years. Bethesda is the creator of legendary titles such as Fallout 3, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, and DOOM. However, recent years have been rough for Bethesda after the huge mistakes it made with Fallout 76; this might be the reason why they made the deal.
What does this acquisition mean to the future of gaming?
Bethesda has been a multiplatform studio since the beginning. Their legendary game franchises (such as The Elder Scrolls and Fallout) are favorites of millions of gamers around the world. With this acquisition, Microsoft gains access to all those game titles and their exclusivities, which might change how Bethesda games are released in the future. Adding these titles into Microsoft’s Xbox Game Pass could potentially attract more customers to the platform and put them ahead of the competition. The future of gaming is clearly going towards a subscription-based system, and this acquisition puts Microsoft in a very profitable place.
Also, Microsoft can make big decisions regarding what game title goes on what platform and even make profits out of other platform sales. However, PlayStation fans/users might not need to worry just yet, as the Xbox head has already stated that upcoming games—Starfield and The Elder Scrolls VI—will be available on PS as well. However, the exclusivity of future games is uncertain.
The biggest advantage Microsoft has gained from this acquisition is all the games that Bethesda produces. Sequels for games like Fallout and The Elder Scrolls take a very long time to release, and Microsoft can shorten the wait and step up the game for better profit. Additionally, they will profit from those game sales in a big way, which is a win-win situation for both consumers and publishers.