Bethesda Studios is one of the largest game publishers of our modern age. They’re responsible for Doom, Elder Scrolls, Fallout, Wolfenstein, Dishonored and other iconic franchises. There are few fish bigger in the gaming sea….except for the gigantic whale that just swallowed them.
Microsoft shocked the industry this morning by announcing the acquirement of Bethesda as a second-party internal publisher. The purchase wasn’t cheap and only MS could have written the check, but….it just happened, for real. A common complaint among gamers in recent years has been that XBox lacks a good library of exclusives. How do you feel now?
“Bethesda’s games have always had a special place on Xbox and in the hearts of millions of gamers around the world,” boasts XBox head Phil Spencer. “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….Please join me in welcoming all of our friends at Bethesda to Team Xbox.”
What, exactly, does this mean for everyone else? It’s not as clear-cut as “no more Bethesda games on Playstation.” Prior to this deal, Sony paid for timed exclusive rights to Deathloop, a game from Arkane (makers of Dishonored) and under the Bethesda umbrella. That deal is still valid, and Microsoft has also been known to share…Cuphead and the Ori games were released on Switch, and Minecraft continues to be playable across all systems.
It’s really up to Microsoft what they want to do here. But if they choose to hold titles as huge as Doom or the next Elder Scrolls as XBox/PC exclusives, being a one-console gamer just got a lot more difficult.