The news that Microsoft will be purchasing Bethesda left the gaming world in a state of shock. After all, this is the gaming equivalent of Disney buying Fox.
This is big news for a lot of gamers.
A new games console generation is rapidly approaching and Microsoft has often been criticised for not having enough exclusive games. This will be something they're painstakingly aware of, as it could negatively influence sales of the Xbox Series X.
During the early days of the Xbox 360, the console was considered the home of the western RPG.
Now following their acquisition of Bethesda, Microsoft seem well on their way to reclaiming this status. Especially if games like Fallout and The Elder Scrolls become Xbox exclusives.
Will Bethesda Games Now All Be Xbox Exclusives?
The short answer to this question is no, at least not according to Phil Spencer. In an interview with CNET, Spencer confirmed that Bethesda will operate “semi-independently”.
Spencer also claimed that the acquisition didn’t necessarily mean all future Bethesda titles would now be Xbox exclusives. Each title will be considered on “case by case basis”.
He went on to suggest that any agreements Bethesda has with Sony or other third parties will be honoured. He explained that Microsoft is hesitant to thrust its culture and practices on Bethesda. This is for fear it would disrupt the studio.
"It is about the culture of those teams. They're not about becoming us." Suggesting that Bethesda will have a degree of autonomy despite their new owners.
Bethesda’s marketing boss also suggested that the acquisition won’t change too much. Saying; "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."
The Reason Behind Microsoft’s Purchase Of Bethesda
This information will come as a relief to gamers who are hoping to play Bethesda games on the PS5. Although it’s important to remember Microsoft will have an agenda behind this acquisition.
It’s also highly likely that making at least some Bethesda games Xbox exclusives will indeed be part of their motivation. We're almost certain that some franchises could never appear again on a Sony console – the question is which ones?
As their owner; Microsoft will also now need to be concerned with Bethesda’s games sales as well as potential exclusivity plans. While making some franchises Xbox exclusives will help console sales, it could restrict software sales – something Bethesda rely on.
This means Microsoft will need to make tough decisions in the future, as big titles like The Elder Scrolls 6 and Doom or Fallout sequels come into view.
Will Microsoft Purchase Other Studios Following Bethesda Acquisition?
In another interview with CNET, Microsoft executive Sata Nadella hinted that more games studios could be published by them.
Saying, "We'll always look for places where there is that commonality of purpose, mission and culture."
He then said, "We will always look to grow inorganically where it makes sense." Suggesting Microsoft’s shopping spree may have only just begun.