The takeover of ZeniMax Media by Microsoft last September was one of the most important business events for the video game industry in 2020. A manufacturer does not buy a publisher and thus its entire license portfolio every day. Downfall, Fail or Wolfenstein will thus join the Xbox wallet. However, aside from the announcement, we don’t yet know what real impact this will have on our hobbies. Indeed, the Redmond company has not communicated about the treatment of future productions from newly acquired studios. But it could be faster than expected!
Be careful, take out the necessary tweezers. According to Jeff Grubb, the generally very knowledgeable reporter at GamesBeat, Microsoft is planning an event in mid-March that will focus solely on Bethesda, its teams, and its games. According to Grubb, this will be one of the key moments in Xbox communications in the first half of 2021. Recall that the man was the origin of the rumor of the arrival of a legendary edition for Mass Effect trilogy
Once the deal is closed, they’ll talk about it in much greater detail. I don’t know if this will take the form of a [ndlr : Nintendo] Simple but they will talk about it in detail and explain what it means for everyone. You can expect it somewhere in mid-March.
It must be said that for now, Microsoft has no legal right to expand the process. The latter is still in progress and the various American and international organizations are reviewing the compliance of this acquisition. Once ZeniMax Media is completed and officially taken over by the Satya Nadella-led company, communication can be freely accelerated.
We don’t know what the fate of future titles will be from the eight studios that have joined Xbox. If Phil Spencer has confirmed that ongoing partnerships will be appreciated – Ghostwire Tokyo de Tango Gameworks et Death loop Arkane Studios are and will remain temporary exclusive products for PlayStation 5 – the secret remains intact for the others. Speculation about the future of Starfield
What future for future Bethesda productions?
Microsoft actually has three options. The first and most natural in the console universe would be to Just make all upcoming games developed by ZeniMax Media Studios exclusive. Like Sony’s takeover of Rare a few years ago or Insomniac Games recently. These developers have already created titles for other manufacturers but will no longer do so. The teams would only focus on Xbox and its ecosystem. The titles would be on Series X | S, PC and possibly released on Xbox One, obviously with a feature in Xbox Game Pass.
in addition, Microsoft’s subscription service would be key to the second scenario. The availability on the day a game is published in the catalog makes it possible to see beyond complete exclusivity, as mentioned in the hypothesis set out above. In fact, keeping the versions for competing machines would be some kind of competitive advantage by charging full price while promoting the same titles in Xbox Game Pass at no additional cost. And that might be the preferred route for the Redmond Company.
Finally, the third option the choice of a temporary exclusivity. Like Sony, which has preferred third-party providers for several years to give priority access to gamers on its consoles, this is a good compromise. In fact, you can play on all fronts while taking advantage of the Xbox ecosystem. Publishing a year in advance on Xbox and PC with availability on the first day in Xbox Game Pass before finding its way to other platforms is a way to benefit from a larger pool of gamers while giving preference to Microsoft computer owners.
Nobody knows what decision Phil Spencer and his teams will make. Which hypothesis do you think works best for Xbox?