It’s no secret that Microsoft is sorely lacking in the console exclusives department. That is until now. The company just spent an exuberant amount buying ZeniMax Media, the parent company of Bethesda Softworks.
Microsoft’s acquisition of Bethesda Softworks means that they now own some of the biggest properties in gaming, including The Elder Scrolls, DOOM, Fallout and Wolfenstein.
Of course, getting hold of these iconic IPs didn’t come cheap as Microsoft is reported to have spend around $7.5 billion on the transaction.
This is the second-largest acquisition of its kind, with the biggest being Tencent’s purchase of mobile developer Supercell for $8.6 billion.
As expected, the news has many Bethesda fans nervous – at least those who game on Switch and PlayStation.
It raises the question: What does this mean for future releases from Bethesda?
According to Pete Hines, Marketing head of Bethesda, they will still be publishing their own games:
“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.”
Microsoft would be foolish to release these iconic franchises exclusively on the Xbox (and PC) as they would be losing out on a lot of money. Instead, they could go the same route they did with Mojang, the Minecraft developer, and make the games available on other platforms.
It is also expected that Microsoft will use Studios such as Dishonored developer Arkane and Wolfenstein The New Order developer MachineGames to develop brand new exclusive IPs for Xbox consoles.
This would see them gaining more exclusives but still benefiting financially from much-loved franchises such as DOOM and Fallout.
Of course, this is also great news for Microsft’s Game Pass as we can expect a whole slew of Bethesda games appearing on the service.
Xbox boss Phil Spencer also confirmed that Microsoft will honour the timed exclusives deals Bethesda has with non-Xbox platforms. This would be similar to what happened when Microsoft bought developer Obsidian Games and they were still able to release their latest game The Outer Worlds on multi-platforms.
Whether you are an Xbox fan or not, it’s hard to argue that this was a great move on Microsoft’s behalf. It could see them finally get out of the exclusives rut they have been in for some time.