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drahkon

Microsoft bought Zenimax/Bethesda

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1 hour ago, Dcubed said:

Just realised that this also means that ALL Bethesda games will now be on Xbox Game Pass; including their Day 1 releases.

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Man, at this rate Game Pass is actually going to get too good! :heh: I’ve been seriously overindulging on it ever since I subscribed, and they just keep on making it bigger and better. It’s already bloody difficult to decide what to play as it is! :laughing: 

With that said, bring on the Bethesda goodness. :D 

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1 minute ago, RedShell said:

Man, at this rate Game Pass is actually going to get too good! :heh: I’ve been seriously overindulging on it ever since I subscribed, and they just keep on making it bigger and better. It’s already bloody difficult to decide what to play as it is! :laughing: 

With that said, bring on the Bethesda goodness. :D 

Especially when Sea of Thieves takes up most of the time 😎

I think the only Bethesda series I've ever been find of is Wolfenstein, apart from that...meh from me.

However what an announcement! I've seen the bits saying the games will be day 1 Game Pass, but nothing about exclusivity...I wonder if they'll keep the games multiplatform (the big series at least) to take in as much money as they can.

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37 minutes ago, drahkon said:

Pretty sure it will.
I always said that competition is great and I really hope the Xbox Series S/X sell well, but this acquisition kind of leaves a sour taste in my mouth.

Thing is: Sony doesn't have the spending power compared to Microsoft.

I wonder if this'll lead to MS having a monopoly eventually (i.e. in 15-20 years)...I can see them going after more of the big 3rd party publishers.

Edit: More likely this'll turn into an arms race.

This changes the industry...and not in a good way, I fear. Really happy to be proven wrong, though.

From what I gather, Sony's gaming division is one of the biggest contributors to their bottom line but yeah, as you say, they haven't got the cash to splash around like Microsoft clearly have. I'd still say that acquisitions of Bluepoint and perhaps Housemarque will happen, at least I'm 100% expecting the former to become part of PlayStation Studios and given the freedom to do either remakes or new IPs as they like (Bluepoint had talked previous that after their next title, which we now know is the Demon Souls remake, that they would move to a new IP).

Sony has preferred to work closely with studios in the past, such as with Insomniac for instance. I wonder of they'll perhaps favour that sort of deal going forward instead and should there be good reciprocity between both parties, then down the line a deal for acquisition will happen. But as you say, I'm not sure they'll buy out a whole publisher as Microsoft have done.

Like you, it does leave a sour taste in my mouth also and thats with me potentially pre-ordering a Series X tomorrow. Bethesda Studios titles, Elder Scrolls and Fallout, as well as those of ID are big third party titles that have sold extremely well on PS4 this generation. I'm not just lamenting the loss to the Sony side but generally, consolidation of a major third party publisher with one of the biggest consumer electronics companies in the world with the highest (or second highest, Microsoft, Amazon and Apple seem to keep leapfrogging one another) market value means that while there's easier access through Gamepass and XCloud at a reduced cost to the consumer (which I'll circle back to as there will be a cost to this in particular with this acquisition and EA Play coming to Gamepass), it actually narrows the scope of consumer who will attach to these games now as Microsoft will lag behind Sony this generation.

The announcement of this and the release of the cheapest "next gen" console in the Series S is definitely a point to grab market share and close the gap and if Starfield, Elder Scrolls, Doom and Fallout don't release outside of PC and Xbox then that's likely to push some sales but could invariably hurt Microsoft's status in the industry from those on other platforms. Sure the buy in is low for Xbox but losing big third party IPs and having them consolidated and exclusive to one home console platform might be more damaging in gamers' mindsets.

The big thing I see is that going forward, Gamepass is definitely going to have to go up on price. People will point to it already happening on PC, though that was just an introductory offer, but I've already said how I think the price will increase in the next 12 months. I think thay timeframe has now shifted up. EA Play and Zenimax Media's IPs being on board will have been extremely costly ($7.5 Billion for Zenimax alone, EA Play will have cost several million and will no doubt be a continuous fee Microsoft are fronting to keep those games on the service). As such, I can see Gamepass increasing within 6 months now. It'll still be the cheapest way to play, but thats going to slowly keep increasing as the years go on and these types of deals keep happening.

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This is bad for gaming, let's not forget that Skyrim was on both PS4 and Switch.

 

With any luck, on account of how ridiculously well the Elder Scrolls games sell we might see them still go to every console (but with extra bells and whistles or timed exclusivity for Xbox).

 

Surprising to see people comment on this anything other than negatively, a real bad move for gamers! Unless you're an Xbox gamer I suppose (which probably accounts for about 5% of us here, going by thread activity).

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16 minutes ago, Kaepora_Gaebora said:

Especially when Sea of Thieves takes up most of the time 😎

I think the only Bethesda series I've ever been find of is Wolfenstein, apart from that...meh from me.

However what an announcement! I've seen the bits saying the games will be day 1 Game Pass, but nothing about exclusivity...I wonder if they'll keep the games multiplatform (the big series at least) to take in as much money as they can.

I'm guessing that they will honour their existing contracts and will release their existing announced games as multiplatform; but after that? Xbox exclusive all the way.

Of course, that's not to say that they won't necessarily put them out as "Xbox Games Studios" games on other platforms like Switch/Switch 2, but anything Sony will likely be off the table going forward.

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9 minutes ago, Sheikah said:

This is bad for gaming, let's not forget that Skyrim was on both PS4 and Switch.

 

With any luck, on account of how ridiculously well the Elder Scrolls games sell we might see them still go to every console (but with extra bells and whistles or timed exclusivity for Xbox).

 

Surprising to see people comment on this anything other than negatively, a real bad move for gamers! Unless you're an Xbox gamer I suppose (which probably accounts for about 5% of us here, going by thread activity).

Playing Devil's Advocate here, there are some upsides to becoming a first party developer.  For starters, you no longer have to spread your developers thin across multiple platforms (which is likely to be a big boon for BGS in particular, given their notoriety for bug riddled games :laughing:).  Then there's the reduced pressure on developers to perform fiscally, they can focus their efforts on pure game development (greatly reduced need for microtransaction hell); and of course, there's the huge infusion of development cash & resources that Microsoft themselves bring to the table, allowing for increased development budgets.  The best games tend to be platform exclusives that can get the most out of a single console and all of its exclusive features after all.

Of course, that's the upside.  Consolidation is not good for consumers and the industry as a whole; Sony have just been dealt a huge blow here, and their customers are going to suffer now.  It's unfair competition and the ramifications are massive for the industry as a whole.

Expect major publishers and other platform holders to start scrambling to suck up what they can before Microsoft come knocking for them now.

Edited by Dcubed

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2 minutes ago, Cube said:

https://bethesda.net/en/article/1iLtcvwY6Nb1GeKADyDUEX/why-microsoft-is-the-perfect-fit

Bethesda will still be publishing their games, similar to how Mojang publishes Minecraft.

This suggests that they're staying multiplatform, bit obviously they won't say anything about that until sometime after pre orders.

For now...

Don't expect it to stay this way after their current crop of announced games are done and dusted.  Same thing happened with Obsidian, but now they're starting to release games exclusively for Xbox (Grounded).

Same thing will happen with Bethesda.  They have to honour existing contracts before they can start releasing games exclusively under the Xbox Games Studios label.

Edited by Dcubed

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By the time the currently announced games are released, it will be nearing the end of the generation anyway.  By that point Game Pass will have gone from the "lose money to gain initial subscribers phrase" and will into the "finding any little extra way to nickel and dime customers" stage.

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Just to answer your question definitively @Cube

Straight from the horse's mouth.

11 minutes ago, Cube said:

By the time the currently announced games are released, it will be nearing the end of the generation anyway.  By that point Game Pass will have gone from the "lose money to gain initial subscribers phrase" and will into the "finding any little extra way to nickel and dime customers" stage.

I don't think it'll take 7 years for Deathloop and Ghostwire Tokyo to release...

Everything else is fair game for exclusivity/Nintendo release now.  They haven't announced platforms for any of their other upcoming games yet.

Speaking of which...

Well that's one way to block Sony from buying exclusivity!

Edited by Dcubed

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Just catching up with the news, Microsoft really mean business - doing everything they can to bring people into their ecosystem. Are they definitely contractually obligated to release Starfield and Elder Scrolls 6 on the PS5? Deathloop's timed exclusivity obviously won't be affected but it's so early in development for the others that they might not be locked in to delivering it to every platform. 

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Just now, killthenet said:

Just catching up with the news, Microsoft really mean business - doing everything they can to bring people into their ecosystem. Are they definitely contractually obligated to release Starfield and Elder Scrolls 6 on the PS5? Deathloop's timed exclusivity obviously won't be affected but it's so early in development for the others that they might not be locked in to delivering it to every platform. 

Microsoft already answered that question for you.

Deathloop and Ghostwire: Tokyo will still be timed exclusives for PS5.

Everything else? Whelp! (Nothing else that they have announced has had platforms attached to them yet; including Elder Scrolls 6 and Starfield).

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Playing Devil's Advocate here, there are some upsides to becoming a first party developer.  For starters, you no longer have to spread your developers thin across multiple platforms (which is likely to be a big boon for BGS in particular, given their notoriety for bug riddled games :laughing:).  Then there's the reduced pressure on developers to perform fiscally, they can focus their efforts on pure game development (greatly reduced need for microtransaction hell); and of course, there's the huge infusion of development cash & resources that Microsoft themselves bring to the table, allowing for increased development budgets.  The best games tend to be platform exclusives that can get the most out of a single console and all of its exclusive features after all.
Of course, that's the upside.  Consolidation is not good for consumers and the industry as a whole; Sony have just been dealt a huge blow here, and their customers are going to suffer now.  It's unfair competition and the ramifications are massive for the industry as a whole.
Expect major publishers and other platform holders to start scrambling to suck up what they can before Microsoft come knocking for them now.
Their big games like Elder Scrolls did massive numbers before, it's not like they needed the extra cash from Microsoft. I don't see Microsoft bringing anything to the table here that they actually needed to make these games.

More likely it's a case of Microsoft addressing the issue of not having many exclusives by buying Bethesda. As I say, this is bad for gamers.

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@Dcubed but they literally avoid answering the question about future games in that tweet.

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3 minutes ago, Sheikah said:

As I say, this is bad for gamers who don't plan on buying an XBox.

Fixed it for you.

As with the Sony exclusives, it's the nature of the business. Both Microsoft and Sony are putting THEIR customers first, as they should be. Why would/should either of them care if another company's customers go without, especially when it comes to something as non-essential as gaming?

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8 minutes ago, Cube said:

@Dcubed but they literally avoid answering the question about future games in that tweet.

It's pretty clear to me.  Xbox/PC exclusive unless stated otherwise (like their current Switch releases); existing multiplatform games will be continued to be supported as currently announced.  Just like with all of their other Xbox Game Studios titles from developers they have aqquired previously.

No reason to believe any different.

Edited by Dcubed

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Related...

Looks like John Carmack is now happy to get back together with the old gang at ID now; thanks to the end of Zenimax's ownership!

Edited by Dcubed
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Fixed it for you.
As with the Sony exclusives, it's the nature of the business. Both Microsoft and Sony are putting THEIR customers first, as they should be. Why would/should either of them care if another company's customers go without, especially when it comes to something as non-essential as gaming?
Didn't say they should care, just putting this news into context. It's a bad move for gamers full stop - the vast majority can't afford multiple consoles to make sure they have all exclusives.

Now there are good sides to exclusives in that sometimes they only get made/funded as a result of the backing of the console manufacturer. For instance with Horizon Zero Dawn, it was a game that nobody had any attachment to before it was released on account of it being a new IP. The trouble here is that Elder Scrolls is a massive franchise with many existing fans, who are now potentially shut out. It's hard to see any good side to this - I think even if I had Game Pass I wouldn't feel bad actually buying this game on account of how many years I might be playing it for.

This is basically how I felt when Tomb Raider became timed exclusive for Xbox. Another case of a bad exclusive situation, IMO.

FYI I feel the same way about FFXVI going to PS5 - although at least that is just a timed exclusive.

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8 minutes ago, Sheikah said:

It's a bad move for gamers full stop - the vast majority can't afford multiple consoles to make sure they have all exclusives.

I dunno, the Series S is the same price as 5 (almost 4) full price games. I'd say if this news bothers gamers that much, it's pretty affordable to buy one for that janky Bethesda fix.

Plus, exclusives aren't new. Every generation gamers have had to choose between consoles based on USPs and exclusive games. I fail to see why this is suddenly such an issue.

Edited by Goafer

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I dunno, the Series S is the same price as 5 (almost 4) full price games. I'd say if this news bothers gamers that much, it's pretty affordable to buy one for that janky Bethesda fix.Plus, exclusives aren't new. Every generation gamers have had to choose between consoles based on USPs and exclusive games. I fail to see why this is suddenly such an issue.

Are you suggesting blowing £250 on a lower spec console to play one game. Because I can't see even 5% of fans wanting to do that. Quite right too.

 

Also regarding "I fail to see why this is suddenly an issue" - Maybe you don't remember then, because there was definitely a backlash against Tomb Raider going timed exclusive. Like I say, not all exclusives are equal. Sometimes exclusives are just a case of paying money to stop people having something rather than funding games so they exist in the first place.

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Enormous news, obviously.

My gut instinct is that every time I see a huge deal like this, can't help but think of just how lightly George Lucas let Disney off in picking up Star Wars and Lucasfilm :p I've just looked it up and at $7.5 billion, this is the largest acquisition in games outside of the smartphone gaming market, and second overall only to Tencent's acquisition of Supercell (Clash of Clans) for $8.6 billion back in 2016. So literally just as huge as it is ground-shaking for the industry as a whole. 

But on the other hand...I can't help but feel like this would have been a bigger deal a few years ago. Elder Scrolls VI and Starfield are on the way sure (I'm with those saying they'll probably end up multi-platform, just too much money to be left on the table, as was the case with Minecraft), but their big Bethesda Game Studios brands have taken a beating for too many reasons to list, at least in my eyes, over the last few years. I feel like that can all be turned around if they can actually put out a game which runs well and isn't surrounded by controversy, mind you, but I honestly think the more interesting acquisitions are the "smaller" teams: id Software (who seem to only be getting better at making Doom games - looking at how Infinite looked slightly inspired by Doom, minus the focused setting and narrow corridors, I feel like that'd be a natural place for them to help out), Tango Gameworks (horror is a gap in my head that Xbox certainly have), MachineGames, and Arkane. 

Honestly, I hope that this acquisition was more for the smaller teams than Game Studios, only because Obsidian could have that corner covered for them already. 

But...yeah. I feel like it's the biggest acquisition which could happen in the industry which will make me go "hey, that's huge!" and then forget it by the end of next week. My bigger question would be over what's going on with Deathloop, though I imagine it will still come to PS5, just no longer expecting it to be exclusive. 

Agree with those here that mention this isn't a necessarily great thing. People will point at Insomniac and say Sony did the same just earlier this year, but I mean, just look up the list of games that Insomniac have developed and the consoles they've ended up on, and it will show that is not this. And while I feel like it's a big deal, obviously, maybe it's just me, but it comes off a little...desperate, I suppose, for lack of a better word? They've been buying up studios left and right, and while this is by far their biggest get yet, I don't feel like this is what they needed to do? Again: Obsidian kind of have that covered. I get that Bethesda is a huuuuuuge company with plenty in the works, with huge IP's, but still...is this Microsoft conceding Japan? I feel like that their money would have been better in SEGA's/Konami's/Square Enix's/Capcom's pockets; while I never see any of those happening, any one of those would truly be groundbreaking, in that Microsoft lack that other side of gaming, for me at least. 

I feel like they're lacking fresh influence. I look at their games right now and, Tango Gameworks aside, go "yep, that's a western-made game!". There's nothing wrong with western-made games at all, but it feels like them doubling down on the western market and giving up on Japan in a way, at least right now, which seems...risky. There's something to a lot of these Japanese developers and games which for me just isn't there with a lot of others under Xbox right now (the charm of Dragon Quest, the zaniness of Yakuza, etc.). 

Great get for Game Pass, obviously. I won't deny that this is a huge deal at all, because it is huuuuuuuge. But I don't think that this is the move that Xbox needed to make right now. 

Also, no-one going to mention an acquisition of this scale taking place in the middle of COVID and a worldwide recession being the craziest thing? Great going for Bethesda, I hope; fingers crossed this gives some people a better sense of job security. That'd be the best takeaway for me :)

EDIT: Just seen @Dcubed's post about Deathloop staying PS exclusive, that's pretty cool. Typed it up on the first page of the thread, that's my bad! 

Edited by Julius
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3 minutes ago, Sheikah said:

Are you suggesting blowing £250 on a lower spec console to play one game. Because I can't see even 5% of fans wanting to do that. Quite right too.

One game? We're talking all of Bethesda's offering.

If Bethesda games mean that much to someone (which to me they don't, even though Fallout was my favourite series for years), then it's hardly a big investment. Go without 4 PS5 games and you've already got the money.

If it's not worth that much to someone, then who cares? They're just games. Go without. Or don't get a PS5 and get a Series S/X instead.

It's not like these games are completely inaccessible. It just means some people may have to re-evaluate the choice between Xbox and PlayStation or miss out on Bethesda games.

I think people are placing way too much importance in a non-essential hobby. They're just games. No one's going to die if they can't play the latest Skyrim port or broken Fallout game.

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I could see Microsoft allowing Bethesda to publish a few future games on Playstation, but why spend £60/70 when you can play it for 'free' on Game Pass? Their already amazing service just got a whole lot better.

Edited by Ronnie

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One game? We're talking all of Bethesda's offering.
If Bethesda games mean that much to someone (which to me they don't, even though Fallout was my favourite series for years), then it's hardly a big investment. Go without 4 PS5 games and you've already got the money.
If it's not worth that much to someone, then who cares? They're just games. Go without. Or don't get a PS5 and get a Series S/X instead.
It's not like these games are completely inaccessible. It just means some people may have to re-evaluate the choice between Xbox and PlayStation or miss out on Bethesda games.
I think people are placing way too much importance in a non-essential hobby. They're just games. No one's going to die if they can't play the latest Skyrim port or broken Fallout game.

In terms of what they actually make you're not looking at many games - in all likelihood for most it'll be one Elder Scrolls game and one Fallout game (although Fallout hasn't been good in a while).

Obviously these are just video games but it doesn't mean we can't talk about how this would be a bad move for gamers if their games become exclusive. Elder Scrolls games in particular are massively popular and make a lot of money, so hopefully they will remain multiplatform.

Also in terms of your calculations, £250 is more like 8-10 games to me - like many I don't tend to buy games at full price. And I'm fully willing to wait for them to drop, too.

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5 minutes ago, Sheikah said:


 


In terms of what they actually make you're not looking at many games - in all likelihood for most it'll be one Elder Scrolls game and one Fallout game (although Fallout hasn't been good in a while).

Obviously these are just video games but it doesn't mean we can't talk about how this would be a bad move for gamers if their games become exclusive. Elder Scrolls games in particular are massively popular and make a lot of money, so hopefully they will remain multiplatform.

Also in terms of your calculations, £250 is more like 8-10 games to me - like many I don't tend to buy games at full price. And I'm fully willing to wait for them to drop, too.

Fallout 4 is one of the most underwhelming games that I've played this generation. I love the concept, but the game and gameplay itself is drab. Ugly to look at, ugly to manoeuvre, ugly to play. A shocking lack of polish for a supposed big game. It's my first entry into the series but it's enough to put me right off it. 

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