News has just been released that Microsoft is planning to acquire Bethesda. A $7.5 billion deal which is due to complete by June 2021. The acquisition is one of the biggest ones to ever occur in the gaming world, rattling the community across the world. The reason this deal is so big is due to the extensive and popular catalogue of games that Bethedsa owns, with titles like:
• The Elder Scrolls Series
• Fallout Series
• Wolfenstein Games
... and so many more epic titles.
Bethesda have released a press statement which explains the acquisition in detail which can be found here:
In the statement Bethesda states:
"The planned acquisition includes publishing offices and development studios spanning the globe with over 2,300 employees, including Bethesda Softworks, Bethesda Game Studios, id Software, ZeniMax Online Studios, Arkane, MachineGames, Tango Gameworks, Alpha Dog, and Roundhouse Studios. Bethesda’s critically acclaimed and best-selling franchises include The Elder Scrolls, Fallout, DOOM, Quake, Wolfenstein, and Dishonored, among others."
This gives us an understanding that the company will not face any change, other than, that it will be operating as a Microsoft company.
Additionally, the following statement is interesting, albeit a bit long:
"As the gaming industry transforms from a device-centric era to a player-centric era powered by new technology that provides the freedom to play with friends anywhere on any device, Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) on Monday announced plans to acquire ZeniMax Media, the parent company of Bethesda Softworks, one of the largest, privately held game developers and publishers in the world. Creators of critically acclaimed and best-selling gaming franchises including The Elder Scrolls and Fallout among many others, Bethesda brings an impressive portfolio of games, technology, talent, as well as a track record of blockbuster commercial success, to Xbox. Under the terms of the agreement, Microsoft will acquire ZeniMax Media for $7.5 billion in cash.
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."
In this statement it seems that the key plan is to bring Bethesda games to Game Pass on day one of launch, making the already monumental streaming service even greater. Although, whats not clear is whether the games will be releasing on other Consoles. So this is a space where we will need to watch very closely.
Finally, lets talk about the elephant in the room, Sony. This recent news must be an absolute blow to the tech giant. Sony has 2 Bethesda console exclusives being published for PlayStation "Deathloop" by Arkane Studios and "Ghostwire Tokyo" by Tango Gameworks. With the recent acquisition we can't see the launch of these games being impacted, but we can see these titles some how being moved to the Xbox, taking some of the edge off of Sony's impressive exclusives list.
Although, great for Xbox fans, the news will come bitter to those invested in PlayStation as something this big very rarely happens in the gaming industry, therefore will create a split in the fan bases, with a high probability to create tension among gaming fans. We've asked the question around our team as to 'HOW' we think Sony could counter this massive move and we share our thoughts below.
For a successful counter, Sony would need to acquire a publisher as big as Bethesda. This publisher has to have a similar cult following as you would find with Bethesda. I would suggest that to even begin rivalling this move, Sony would need to acquire someone like Take Two, who owns franchises such as Grand Theft Auto, Red Dead Redemption, Civilisation, Bioshock etc. This would only slightly tip the scale, if Sony ever intended on "coming out on top" then they would need to take it beyond that and try and acquire another giant, such as Konami, Capcom or SquareEnix. Although, these things take time, and it could be too late for Sony. IS any of this realistic, i'm afraid not. Microsoft were rumoured as trying to make this move prior to this announcement with no luck in making the acquisition and Microsoft have ALOT more revenue to play with. Although, I wont say it is "impossible".
Let us know what your thoughts are in the comments on our social media pages!
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