Big news lit up social media yesterday afternoon as Dina Bass and Jason Schreier (writing for Bloomberg) revealed that Microsoft would soon acquire ZeniMax Media Inc. Now, while that name may not be as familiar to some, ZeniMax is the owner of several gaming studios including Bethesda Softworks. Yes, that Bethesda. This marks a huge purchase, in fact, the article states this will be “Microsoft’s most-expensive video-game deal ever” and Satya Nadella, Microsoft CEO, was quoted in the article mentioning that this acquisition would “metaphorically and literally double [Xbox’s] gaming content capacity”.
And so, just how much is this purchase going to cost?$7,5 billion. Or alternatively R109 220 150 000.00. Or using our now infamous Cream-Soda-flavoured conversion – this will set Microsoft back 72 813 433 333.3 green Fizzers. Now, the immediate question many people had was whether this acquisition would have any effect on the timed exclusives Sony had already announced for two Bethesda titles namely: Deathloop and Ghostwire: Tokyo. However, in an interview posted on the site, Phil Spencer assured PS fans that they would be honouring those commitments. However, all future games would be looked at “on a case-by-case basis” about whether they would appear anywhere other than Xbox and PC.
While it seems almost unbelievable that games like Elder Scrolls, Fallout or Starfield would ever become Xbox Exclusives (and it seems many experts still disagree about the possibility of this happening even with the purchase) that may not be the crucial point. As pointed out by several people on Twitter already – the possibility of future titles from Bethesda coming to Game Pass for free while they cost $70 on Sony’s platform may make enough of a difference for many to choose the Xbox console even if the games are available on both. This is a massive win for Microsft and particularly for Game Pass.