After yesterday’s twitter tease, Microsoft dropped a bombshell today when they announced the purchase of both Zenimax Media and Bethesda. This was a move that many dreamed of but few ever thought would become a reality. After dropping $7.5 Billion on Zenimax Media, Microsoft took over the world-renowned publisher Bethesda. Titles like Wolfenstein, Doom, The Elder Scrolls, Fallout, and Starfield all now fall under the Xbox banner.
Microsoft has stated that this will increase its production from 15 to 23 separate studio teams and has since added on another 2,300 employees. This announcement came shortly after the announcement of their new Microsoft cloud, which would allow Xbox and PC users to play their games on mobile devices. They even went as far as to make it the feature a bundle on their Xbox Game Pass Ultimate service, which stands at over 15 million users.
This almost seems like a response to Sony, who recently invested $250 million into the Epic Unreal Engine. Microsoft spent more in this deal than they did to acquire Minecraft, at $2.5 billion. Sony also bought two games from Zenimax, Ghostwire and Deathloop, but Microsoft cleared the house in one move. Since Sony just established precedent with their use of Spider-man as a console exclusive, this acquisition seems like the logical next step in the trend.
Xbox now owns Obsidian, Bethesda, and Bio-ware. These three companies are known for pumping out hit after hit in the gaming industry.
What does this really mean?
Quite simply, seeing how Microsoft has put a ring on it, all of Bethesda’s works can become exclusive going forward. Microsoft has stated that they are planning on putting a good bit of Bethesda’s games on the GamePass Day 1. Additionally, one can expect crowd-favorite games like the Elder Scrolls 6 and the new Starfield games to be slapped with an “Exclusive” sticker. For fans of Morrowind and Fallout: New Vegas, remasters are now more of a possibility than they were before. Fingers crossed here.
We can’t help but ask what Sony’s response is going to be. This move could very much push Square Enix over to Sony exclusively, especially with the company’s history of favoring Sony over Microsoft.
Microsoft has blown Sony out of the water with everything from console specs to the sheer size and accessibility of their gaming library. It’s looking like Microsoft has finally realized that the games themselves are what keep the industry moving forward and have worked tirelessly to change the way we can access them. Now, they have an even bigger library to add onto, and combined with X-Cloud being bundled with GamePass, Microsoft is paving a new path for the future of gaming.