Microsoft made history last month with its largest acquisition deal ever - the $7.5 billion purchase of ZeniMax Media, which includes The Elder Scrolls publisher Bethesda Softworks - and is confident about recovering its investment.
Zenimax Media is the American video game company that owns the rights to several prominent game developers: id Software (Doom, Quake, Rage game series), Arkane Studios (Dishonored and Prey games), and Bethesda (The Elder Scrolls, and Fallout game series). As Microsoft pushes through with the acquisition, all these properties come under the tech giant's massive portfolio - raising questions among the gaming community on whether future installments of these games will be launched on the Playstation, the main competitor for Microsoft's Xbox.
Xbox brand head Phil Spencer clarifies the future of these hit properties. He has previously stated that they will be honoring existing Zenimax commitments, such as upcoming exclusive releases for the PlayStation 5 for Ghostwire: Tokyo and Deathloop. For other future games, they will decide on a "case by case basis."
Microsoft Won't Take Games From Player Bases
Stephen Totilo, writing for Kotaku, asked Spencer in an exclusive interview. "Is it possible to recoup a $7.5 billion investment if you don't sell Elder Scrolls VI on the PlayStation?"
The Xbox head affirmed and explained that the Microsoft acquisition was not made to take games away from another player base." He explained: "Nowhere in the documentation that we put together was: 'How do we keep other players from playing these games?'" Spencer stressed that they want more people to be able to play, not the other way around.
I had a really good chat with @XboxP3 about all things Xbox. And he was quite nice about the three times my kids barged in on our video call.
Lots in here. One of the big takeaways: he expects the Series S to outsell the Series X long-term:https://t.co/LxJ7HG2nW5 — Stephen Totilo (@stephentotilo) October 16, 2020
"But I'll also say in the model [...] when I think about where people are going to be playing and the number of devices that we had," the 52-year-old exec explained. Microsoft offers games through the xCloud, PC, and the Game Pass subscription service. " I don't have to go ship those games on any other platform other than the platforms that we support in order to kind of make the deal work for us. Whatever that means."
Back in 2014, Microsoft also made a momentous acquisition when it bought Swedish game developer Mojang for $2.5 billion. Mojang, best known for the hit open-world game Minecraft, assured its fans that the game would remain a multi-platform franchise. This includes ports of the game to PS3, PS4, iOS, and Android platforms.
The Future of the Xbox
Tech reviewers and gamers are now waiting for the release of Microsoft's upcoming game consoles: Xbox Series X and Series S, or Series X/S collectively. Series X, which its parent company described as "whisper-quiet," enjoyed rave reviews from early testers. It features a custom solid-state drive (SSD), which has no mechanical moving parts compared to the hard disk drive (HDD). Plus, it uses a large, one-piece fan for its ventilation.
Sam Machkovech, writing for Ars Technica as one of the reviewers of the hardware in an early preview, said: "Series X, so far, is the quietest Xbox I've ever tested."
Xbox Series X/S is set for a November 10 release, with Series X starting at $500 and the Series S at $300. Pre-orders opened to the public last September 22. However, the gaming news portal GameSpot has noted that the availability of either console is fast dwindling.
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