Some gaming studios become so successful that they turn into their own publishers. With tons of Fallout, Bethesda Softworks became one of the most influential developers in the world. And now, they join the Xbox Exclusives team.
Microsoft bought Bethesda over 7 billion dollars to make their titles exclusive. Albeit they will keep self-publishing for PC, only the Xbox platform will enjoy titles like The Elder Scrolls and Doom Eternal.
Mor than that, Microsoft acquired ZeniMax Media, which is the parent company of Bethesda Softworks. That means all of the IPs created by these two companies will be part of the impressive Xbox Game Pass service.
For example, let’s say Bethesda launches Fallout 5 in November 2021. The game would reach the Xbox Game Pass service from the day of release. It would be included in the service for downloading and playing.
Let’s take a look at what’s happening with the acquisition. It will help us understand why Microsoft is gaining so many points against the PlayStation 5.
There’re over 15 million players on the Xbox Game Pass service, all getting access to the games we’re listing on the article.
If you’re interested in Microsoft’s gaming platform, here’s a couple of articles that will help you:
Is this real?
Microsoft announced the news on its own blog and explained how Bethesda has always been an essential member of Microsoft’s developer community. Moreover, they said they want to improve their Xbox Game Pass service offerings. Hence, gaining Bethesda Softworks as their partners was only the obvious call.
“Bethesda’s games have always had a special place on Xbox and in the hearts of millions of gamers around the world. 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.” – Xbox Blog.
Remember, the Xbox Game Pass now also includes EA games. You can check the Xbox All Acess membership, a financing plan for the Xbox Series lineup that also includes the Game Pass club.
What is Bethesda Softworks, anyway?
Bethesda Softworks is an American video-game maker and distributor. It’s also a ZeniMax subsidiary, now a Microsoft subsidiary and part of Microsoft Studios.
It started back in 1986 with its headquarters in Rockville, Maryland. They became famous for their RPG games.
Their first popular title was Terminator in 1990. Then, the first entry of the genre-breaking The Elder Scrolls saga debuted in 1994. It had the name “Arena.”
Then, their first commercial success was The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind. A timeless classic that still thrives within moving communities and retro-gamers.
Morrowind is one of the first true open-world games ever. It allowed the freedom to explore from the tiniest details to the bigger plot. Games like The Witcher 3 wouldn’t exist without Morrowind.
As publishers, Bethesda Softworks also distributes different games created by the ZeniMax family. These are some of the top titles in the industry, like Doom Eternal or the Dishonored saga. Aside from their games, these titles include:
The Evil Within franchise
The Bethesda Game Studios Era
After 2001, Bethesda Softworks passed the baton to Bethesda Game Studios. The original studio remained as the publisher and editorial, though.
Bethesda Game Studios has its headquarters in Montreal, Canada, and Texas, USA.
Their rooster includes TES IV: Oblivion, TES V: Skyrim, Fallout 3, Fallout 4, and Fallout 76. Oblivion, Fallout 3, and Skyrim won Game of the Year Awards. Fallout 4 also won over 20 awards.
They are also creating The Elder Scrolls VI, but we’ve only got a teaser trailer so far.
Still, we know the game is only coming out for Xbox Series and Windows PC. PlayStation 5 owners will have to pass on this one.
“Currently in pre-production at Bethesda Game Studios, the acclaimed developers of Skyrim and Fallout 4.”
Starfield is an upcoming RPG sci-game game revolving around planet exploration. We don’t know much about the game as the only thing we’ve seen so far is a teaser trailer.
People have been speculating much about Starfield. If the game lives to its hype, it will become the next space epic game.
More importantly, though, Bethesda Softworks developed a new engine for Starfield and TES: VI. Microsoft now owns the engine as well.
Bethesda games are Xbox exclusives
All of these games I’ve said are now part of the Xbox Game Pass. Moreover, new games by the Bethesda Game Studios will launch on the service from day 1.
They will be available on Windows PC as well through Bethesda’s own site and the Xbox store. Yet, they won’t be available for the PlayStation 5.
In particular, the online version of Fallout is already on Game Pass. Albeit it was a disaster at launch, it now has a more promising future. After significant updates, it now has a great campaing plus a fun gameplay experience.
This is an online-only game, so you need the Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscription to play the game. The Ultimate membership enables the Xbox Game Pass games for downloading and streaming as well. It also activates the multiplayer features for you to play online. Also, it gives you special discounts for games, DLCs, and micro-transactions.
The same is to be said about The Elder Scrolls Online title. It’s included in Xbox Game Pass Ultimate.
ZeniMax Media is a Microsoft subsidiary
Let’s put it in perspective. Microsoft bought ZeniMax media, which owns Bethesda Softworks and Bethesda Game Studios. Aside from these two household names, ZeniMax also owns id Software (Doom and Quake developers).
ZeniMax also owns Tango Games (Ghostwire: Tokyo, The Evil Within), BattleCry Studios, Gameworks, ZeniMax Online Studios, and MachineGames, Alpha Dog, and Roundhouse Studios.
Lastly, ZeniMax is also the owner of Arkane Studios, producers of Arx Fatalis, Dishonored, Prey, and Deathloop. In particular, Deathloop is like Dishonored with a different twist. Yet, it already has a PlayStation 5 trailer, but Microsoft ensures the prior deal will be honored.
That said, both Deathloop and Ghostwire: Tokyo will keep a PlayStation 5 timed exclusive.
The process is still happening. Massive acquisitions like this take a lot of time to bypass the paperwork. Yet, Microsoft went ahead of the leaks to assure this was real.
Keep in mind that Bethesda has about 12,000 workers in the USA, while ZeniMax has a similar number. Both companies are at the top of the video-game industry.
Overall, Microsoft is getting games, software, game engines, IPs, developers, workers, and more. It’s the most significant acquisitions in the video-game industry. Microsoft ensures Bethesda will keep publishing their own games for PC and move forward as usual.
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The Obsidian studio is a member of the Microsoft Studios family. They are the creators of some of the best RPG games in history, which includes Fallout: New Vegas, Pillars of Eternity, The Outer Worlds, Neverwinter Nights. Also, let’s not forget South Park. The Stick of Truth.
With the presence of Obsidian, Microsoft has the road to creating a new Obsidian/Bethesda Fallout title. We already enjoyed a fantastic result in New Vegas, so Fallout New Vegas 2 is currently a real possibility.
Moreover, with Bethesda and Obsidian under the same umbrella, Microsoft controls the best RPG makers in the USA.