The next-gen console wars are already underway and we don’t even have machines in our hands yet. Microsoft’s purchase of Bethesda was definitely a “shots fired” move for the gaming press but does it really matter in the large scheme of things? Well, it depends on how much you love Bethesda’s stable of games – among which include The Elder Scrolls, Fallout, and DOOM – as well as whether or not these will be Microsoft PC/Xbox exclusives moving forward.
In a post on their website title “Why Microsoft is a perfect fit,” Bethesda explains that the new ownership, “…allows us to make even better games going forward. Microsoft is an incredible partner and offers access to resources that will make us a better publisher and developer. We believe that means better games for you to play. Simply put – we believe that change is an important part of getting better. We believe in pushing ourselves to be better. To innovate. To grow.”
Of course, $7.5 billion in cash probably didn’t hurt things either. Nonetheless, Bethesda and Microsoft are casting this move as a natural evolution for both parties.
“[We] have a long history of working with Microsoft. Our companies share many of the same basic principles. We believe in a culture that values passion, quality, collaboration, and innovation. When I think back to the first time we decided to shift from being a PC-only developer and make Morrowind for the original Xbox, it was a move that countless people said would never work…nobody on consoles wanted a game that big and complex. But Microsoft believed in us and so did you. And now RPGs of all shapes and sizes are hugely successful on consoles.”
As many people are pointing out, this purchase doesn’t necessarily mean that Microsoft will limit Bethesda’s games to just its platforms. As with Minecraft, Microsoft could go with a broader route given the huge popularity of titles like The Elder Scrolls.
Looking forward, optimists also highlight that Microsoft’s deep pocketbooks could result in better games moving forward. We’re not going to name any specifics here but we’re sure any true Bethesda fan can name more than a couple of things they’d like to see change in the future.
The press release from Pete Hines did tease Starfield, the company’s big new mysterious IP, but it didn’t really divulge any information on one of the more anticipated titles rumored to be in development. Since we don’t really know much about that game in general, speculation as to whether or not it will be an Xbox exclusive is premature at this point.
Interestingly, Microsoft’s presser also mentioned Starfield:
“With unique investments in content, community, and the cloud, Microsoft’s gaming strategy differs from others by empowering people to play the games they want, with the people they want, anywhere they want. Games are the primary growth engine in gaming, and games are fueling new cloud-gaming services like Xbox Game Pass, which has reached a new milestone of over 15 million subscribers. With the addition of Bethesda, Microsoft will grow from 15 to 23 creative studio teams and will be adding Bethesda’s iconic franchises to Xbox Game Pass. This includes Microsoft’s intent to bring Bethesda’s future games into Xbox Game Pass the same day they launch on Xbox or PC, like Starfield, the highly anticipated, new space epic currently in development by Bethesda Game Studios.”
What do you think of Microsoft’s purchase of Bethesda? Do you play Bethesda’s games? Let us know your thoughts on this in the comments section below if you like.
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