Microsoft has just changed the landscape of the video game industry. The tech giant has announced its acquisition of ZeniMax Media, the parent company of several industry-leading game developers. The most prominent of these studios is Bethesda Softworks, the outfit behind such popular franchises as Fallout, Doom, and The Elder Scrolls. With this purchase, Microsoft has now brought some of the most notable and critically acclaimed game series under its wing.
What is really impressive is how much Microsoft paid for ZeniMax Media. The announced cost for the acquisition has been listed at $7.5 billion. That completely overshadows the $4.05 billion the Walt Disney Company paid to assimilate Lucasfilm into its corporation. This goes to show just how valuable Microsoft views the media conglomerate. They know they could have a very profitable future ahead with the properties they now own.
There are a few questions that are lingering after this purchase. The most prominent one that has gaming enthusiasts anxious is about exclusivity. With Bethesda Softworks now owned by Microsoft, could all their future releases be exclusive to Xbox systems and PCs? If so, it is a huge advantage for Microsoft moving forward in the console wars. Announcing this acquisition only a few months before the launch of the new Xbox lineup in November has some folks believing this is exactly the course of action that Microsoft will take.
Having future installments of games like Fallout, Doom, and The Elder Scrolls be exclusively available on Xbox consoles and PCs would likely be a big selling point for consumers. These are franchises with dedicated fanbases that could abandon Sony’s PS5 if it means they won’t be able to play new versions of their favorite games.
The purchase is a significant win for Microsoft after they lost the bid to acquire social media giant TikTok. The tech company is betting on a very profitable winter season thanks to the new Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S consoles. By purchasing ZeniMax Media, this could be a move that increases their sales by a substantial margin. It is also a great long game move that could be a deciding factor in this new generation of console wars.
Industry analysts have been deeply intrigued as to what might happen this holiday season between the PS5 and the Xbox Series line of consoles. Will this purchase by Microsoft be enough to sway certain consumers away from Sony’s newest entry in the PlayStation line of consoles? Or is it not going to be a big deal for the majority of consumers?
Regardless, this is still a definitive win in Microsoft’s favor. It would not be surprising to hear a lot of huge announcements in the coming year from the different studios that are now under the tech corporation’s umbrella. Expect Microsoft to hit 2021 hard with some big-time reveals that will pull attention away from their competitors. And if they do become exclusive to the Xbox Series consoles and PCs, you can expect the gaming world to be thrown into serious upheaval.