Well, I didn’t see that one coming.
It was announced on Monday that XBOX parent company Microsoft has bought powerhouse developers Bethesda, known best for their blockbuster video game franchises such as Doom, Fallout, and Elder Scrolls, for a whopping $7.5b.
This is massive news. No one knows what this really means now, going forward. If Microsoft decides to sign exclusivity deals with Bethesda for future installments of Fallout or Elder Scrolls, meaning they can only be played on an XBOX console, it would solidify their brand as nigh invincible in the game console landscape.
Don’t misunderstand me, people will still buy the PS5/PS6/PS7 etc. as well. But I often end up buying a new console based almost entirely on the exclusives. If you tell me the only way I’ll ever play an Elder Scrolls game again is if I buy the new XBOX, then guess which console I’m buying.
The other thing to consider is just what a very clear power move this really was. If Microsoft has the money to throw nearly $8 billion at one of the largest and most prestigious developers, it can buy whatever company it wants. With this purchase, Microsoft is reminding the world just how much power they have.
I can’t say this news makes me particularly nervous, but rather cautiously optimistic. I look forward to seeing what comes from this partnership in the future.