The Reason Microsoft Bought Bethesda for $7.5 Billion

  • AUTHOR: dua
  • POSTED ON: September 22, 2020

Microsoft has just
purchased Bethesda Softwork’s parent company ZeniMax
, its priciest video game acquisition, and knocked every competitor off
its feet. This means that Bethesda, the biggest publisher and owner of the
gaming industry, will be working under the Xbox brand. What exactly, made the
company accept this offer? How can this brand possibly fit into Microsoft’s
overall strategy?

As soon as the news
broke, the immediate reaction of the consumers was focused on the competitors.
They wondered if Bethesda’s future vendors will be exclusive to Xbox. This is a
serious predicament, because the gaming industry is cutthroat – if a major
brand like Bethesda is forced to stop the distribution of intellectual property to
competing hardware, what would happen?

But it seems like
Microsoft is done competing with Sony and is ready to enter a space where it’s
only competing with its past self.  It’s
obvious from the gutsy decisions that the company has been taking in the past
three years. Just a couple of months ago it announced the launch of its Xbox
Game Pass subscriptions service
, putting an end to accusations that the
company prioritizes exclusivity. 

Just look at Halo as an
example: it’s considered to be one of the biggest gaming franchises, and it’s
no longer exclusive to the Xbox platform. In fact, the next major release is
slated for 2021, and it will be free on Game Pass for console and PC users,  known as Halo: Infinite.

Sony, on the other
hand, has opted for the tried-and-true strategy where it acquires promising
developers and nurtures them for years – only for them to produce major
franchises like Spider Man and Horizon Zero Dawn. Sony also believes in
maintaining independent relations with Japanese partners like Square Enix and
From Software. This helps them keep their edge – the new Final Fantasy and
Demon’s Soul remake will come to PlayStation first!

Let’s focus on Bethesda
here for a moment. What will Bethesda bring to Xbox Game Pass? Can that newly
updated library help Microsoft achieve its vision for the newly developed
subscription service? Let’s get this in our mind: the acquisition with Bethesda
makes Game Pass will more inclusive. We’re sure that once the next console
generation releases, Microsoft will divert all of its attention on developing
the subscription service, for which this deal with Bethesda could act as a
power play.

Microsoft has
acknowledged that Bethesda was amongst the early supporters of Xbox Game Pass
as they bought their games forward to newer audiences across devices. Spencer
also suggested that Bethesda has been actively investing in new gaming technology.
After this, he announced that Microsoft will be adding Bethesda franchises to
Xbox Game Pass for console and PC.

Todd Howard – Director
of Bethesda Game Studios, shared similar sentiments.  Here’s what he wrote on a
blog on Bethesda’s official website:

 “Why does it matter where the screen is or
what the controller is? There are many people without the same access, and we
can bring it to them. Like our original partnership, this one is about more
than one system or one screen. We share a deep belief in the fundamental power
of games, in their ability to connect, empower, and bring joy. And a belief we
should bring that to everyone — regardless of who you are, where you live, or
what you play on. Regardless of the screen size, the controller, or your
ability to even use one.”

It’s interesting to see
where Microsoft is headed. The company now owns Minecraft, Halo, Gears of War,
and Forza. Now with Bethesda in the hands, the company owns makers of Doom and
Wolfstein, Dishonored, Deathloop, Fallout, and The Elder Scrolls. 



Updated September 22, 2020
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