Microsoft Will Acquire Bethesda — What Does This Mean For Xbox?

Xbox And Bethesda Announce Summer Showcase Event

Microsoft acquiring Bethesda could mean big things for Xbox.

Good morning and happy Monday! Here’s some news that is certain to make your lives just a bit more interesting. It’s also news that will help shape future conversations regarding the next-generation of console wars. Microsoft has just dropped a big bombshell in the form of a blog post confirming the tech giant’s move to acquire ZeniMax Media, the parent company of Bethesda Softworks. What does that mean? Well, it basically means that Bethesda has just jumped on board the Xbox bandwagon.

For those unfamiliar, Bethesda is the game developer responsible for such huge blockbusters as Elder Scrolls, Fallout, Wolfenstein, DOOM, and more! 

“Bethesda’s games have always had a special place on Xbox and in the hearts of millions of gamers around the world,” Xbox head Phil Spencer wrote in the official blog post. “Our teams have a close and storied history working together, from the amazing first DOOM, and its id Tech engine, innovating games on PCs to Bethesda bringing their first console game to the original Xbox, the groundbreaking The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind. Over the years I’ve had many deep conversations with the creative leaders at Bethesda on the future of gaming and we’ve long shared similar visions for the opportunities for creators and their games to reach more players in more ways.”

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Spencer confirmed that their iconic franchises will join Xbox Game Pass on both Xbox and PC. While it hasn’t been 100% confirmed that they will only develop games for the Xbox ecosystem going forward, there does seem to be some hints in that direction. 

“One of the things that has me most excited,” the post continues, “is seeing the roadmap with Bethesda’s future games, some announced and many unannounced, to Xbox console and PC including Starfield, the highly anticipated, new space epic currently in development by Bethesda Game Studios.”

As you can see there, there’s a lot of talk about bringing games to Xbox and PC. There is also talk of empowering the Xbox and giving Xbox players exactly what they want. However, there is no direct talk about pure exclusivity. 

Indeed, in recent years, we’ve seen Microsoft get pretty loose with some of their releases, agreeing for games across platforms. Similarly, Bethesda is a developer that has released their games on an almost satirical level of consoles. While keeping their games fully exclusive could be a great console-seller, we know that the tech giant is about money first and foremost. Microsoft may very well discover that releasing Bethesda games across platforms, and not just Xbox, could mean more money for Bethesda, and them by extension.

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And then there is Xbox’s strategy. From everything they’ve said in recent months, they aren’t necessarily playing the same “exclusives” game as PlayStation. Their strategy is accessibility and their Xbox Game Pass service. With that in mind, I wouldn’t be surprised if this is used more to promote that service than the console itself.

But, the video game industry is an unpredictable beast, and everyone continues to keep their cards close to their chest. So, the reality is we don’t fully know the gravity of this purchase just yet. It could be the start of an iconic era where some of the biggest games out there remain on Xbox, or an era where their paid service continues to spread its wings across separate platforms.

What do you think of Microsoft acquiring Bethesda, and what could it mean for Xbox? Do you see them doubling down on exclusives for the first time in a while, or do you see this as an extension of a very different plan? Sound off down below!

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Joseph Jammer Medina

Joseph Jammer Medina is an author, podcaster, and contributor at LRM Online. A graduate of Chapman University's Dodge College of Film and Television, Jammer's always had a craving for stories. From movies, television, and web content to books, anime, and manga, he's always been something of a story junkie.

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