In what still may be one of the biggest gaming stories of 2020 – and that’s saying something. Microsoft’s purchase of Bethesda has truly shaken up the gaming landscape.
With games like The Elder Scrolls, Fallout and Doom now essentially owned by Microsoft, Xbox has gained a valuable advantage. Something which could make the ‘console war’ very unpredictable as we move into 2021.
Microsoft needed to do something though. Their lack of exclusive games throughout the Xbox One's lifespan has been a bone of contention for many Xbox owners.
The Xbox is the traditional home of Gears, Fable, Halo and more. But sequels and new IPs under the Microsoft banner were few and far between as the years went on.
Elsewhere, Sony was enjoying a real renaissance of first party titles. Thanks to the likes of God of War, Uncharted, Horizon and The Last of Us.
At the same time, Nintendo’s all or nothing gamble on the Switch also paid off. Allowing them to also seize ground left unoccupied by Microsoft.
Microsoft’s Purchase of Bethesda Has Worried Some
Despite Microsoft boss Phil Spencer telling gamers that Microsoft’s purchase of Bethesda doesn’t necessarily mean every franchise will become an Xbox exclusive – it’s clear some inevitably will.
This has left some fans frustrated; who feel abandoned and let down by Bethesda. Gamers who tend to favour Sony’s PlayStation consoles now may face a choice when it comes to some of their favourite games:
They either buy an Xbox too, or miss out.
However, Bethesda’s founder Christopher Weaver has shared his thoughts on the $7.5 billion acquisition, stating that “users (gamers) will be the ultimate beneficiaries” of the deal.
Here’s what he said in full when he was interviewed by Inverse: "I think this is an extremely interesting acquisition on the part of both groups. Microsoft deepens their bench instantly with one of the most experienced companies in entertainment software (during a time when video game sales are at an all-time high).”
“Bethesda gets the benefit of concentrating their creative firepower on software that feeds the Microsoft pipelines. A good prospective marriage of interests with a large domestic public partner.”
He went on to say, "There are only a limited number of proven creators of AAA. What Microsoft owns; Sony cannot get. There are many economies of scale that consolidation between the right partners has the capacity to provide, but the ultimate test will be evidenced by the quality of products produced over time."
"Users from around the world will be the ultimate beneficiaries of this deal"
“The acquisition of Bungie acted as an important trigger for the success of the early Xbox. Depending upon how soon Bethesda can prime the Microsoft pipeline, I suspect Microsoft is looking at their playbook and looking to repeat one of its 'best moves'.”
He concluded by saying, "If the strategy works, it will be a brilliant counter-move against Sony. Users from around the world will be the ultimate beneficiaries of this deal. I wish them well."
Mr. Weaver’s comments are unlikely to ease the concerns of PlayStation owners heading into the next generation of consoles. But it does seem like he genuinely believes Microsoft’s purchase of Bethesda is a positive step for the industry.