On Sept. 21, a virtual bombshell was dropped on the gaming industry when Microsoft announced its plan to purchase Zenimax Studios for a reported $7.5 billion. The announcement comes to the great delight of Xbox players worldwide, as Zenimax Studios is the owner of storied game publisher Bethesda Softworks.
To video game enthusiasts across the globe, Bethesda needs no introduction. The Maryland-based company has a near-spotless repertoire of games under its belt, such as the award-winning "Elder Scrolls," "Fallout," "DOOM," "Dishonored" and "Wolfenstein" series, among others. Five of Bethesda’s eight different studios have produced games that have been awarded “Game of the Year” accolades, including "The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim" being named the greatest game of all time by PC Gamer magazine.
Bethesda’s reputation and pedigree in the gaming industry are beyond question, but fans are wondering what Microsoft’s purchase of the studio means in the grand scheme of things. It’s not really clear at this point. There are plenty of positives and negatives to consider. Microsoft, one of the richest companies in the world, will be directly and heavily funding a game studio that has produced some of the finest games the world has ever seen. This could lead to heights never before seen in the gaming industry, but it could also lead to a massive corporation swaying the sort of content released by the company.
Another aspect to consider is the possibility of Bethesda games becoming Xbox exclusive. Though it hasn’t been confirmed, it is assumed by the gaming community that Bethesda’s games from now on will only be available for Xbox. With the upcoming release of the PlayStation 5 and the newest iteration of the Xbox, many consumers will be swayed toward the latter, given this news.
As more news is released about the terms of the purchase, it will become clearer how this move will change the gaming industry’s landscape.