Breaking: Microsoft purchasing Zenimax for $7.5 billion.

Trunkage

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Well that makes more sense. Yes there is a volume of people who play video games, but don't really have much interest in gaming. They play sports games (which Forza technically also is) and Call of Duty or Halo or something of the sort, but otherwise they play nothing else. They don't know about the industry, they don't know what the different companies are doing, and they frankly don't care.

Which is why there are still people who swear by XBox even though their sports games are on every system so it really doesn't matter what console they buy. But it's easier for them to just keep getting the new version of whatever console they originally got. If they had a 360, then they'll still buy xbox's until the end of xbox or they stop gaming entirely.

Sometimes it is hard for us hardcore gamers to remember that. (And if you are on a video game forum you are hardcore end of story). We read the news, we watch what company's do, we pay attention to a wide array of games coming out, we have our fingers on the pulse because this is our passion hobby. We care about it more than most, and sometimes that disconnects us. Everytime we ***** about lootboxes, we forget that the casual whatever crowd is buying them in buckets and that's why they exist. While it frustrates us, that's just what the reality is. It's also why it's so fun to watch those casual players take notice and get pissed off at things like Battlefront 2 and the like, because even the ignorant eventually notice when something is wrong.

I'm sure the xbox will still sell plenty of units. The Xbox sold like 50 million consoles still. Which is nothing to scoff at honestly. It's the 14th best selling console of all time. Which is both a product of brand name loyalty from casual gamers, and also a reflection of just how big video game audiences have become.

EDIT: As I wrote this another thought occurred to me as a fundamental problem with Microsoft's path to success. If they wanted to really compete with Sony, Microsoft needs to break into the Japanese market. If you look at the vast majority of first party Microsoft IP's they fall under two catagories, shooters and racers right? And you know what games Japanese companies almost never make? Shooters and Racers. Seriously, when was the last Japanese FPS game? The last Japanese Racing/sports game? Gamers in Japan don't fucking care about that shit, which is why Microsoft needs to develop something ANYTHING else to appeal to other gaming audiences.

Seriously as badass as Doom2016 was. It only sold 6100 copies in Japan opening week https://www.playstationlifestyle.ne...mains-1st-homefront-outsells-doom-battleborn/ Doom did go on to sell a total of 40k copies to date in japan. But a simple google search shows that the Japanese market doesn't play FPS games like that.

Meanwhile Final Fantasy 7 Remake sold over 700k copies in the first week in japan alone. Which is Sony exclusive.

Furthermore, out of 50 MILLION units of Xbox One sold. Japan is only responsible for 100k of those.

And Microsoft admittedly is fighting a loosing battle in Japan for sure, because I'm sure Japanese customers are always going to prefer Japanese companies when possible like Sony and Nintendo. However that doesn't mean they are resistant to it. For example the 360 sold almost 2 MILLION units in Japan. That's a decent market, but remember the 360 had JRPG's on it, as well as a wide variety of shit that appeals to a much bigger audience than the Xbone had and more than the Xbox SX appears to be moving towards as well.

Remember this, if Microsoft could create games that appeal to Japan, that means it will also appeal to more customers around the world, because it's that variety of sweet exclusives that diversify your audiences and make your sales grow. Something that Microsoft continues to fail on. They seem to feel like they should be successful simply because the 360 was successful. They are even going so far as to fall back on their 360 library to try and entice people again. "Hey guys remember when we used to be awesome? Subscribe and replay those memories."

***** we ain't Pepperidge Farms.

Let the past die. Kill it, if you have to. Make the future better Microsoft.
Yeah, I dont know why you just wouldn't skip Japan and go for China instead.... Other than dealing with that government
 

Drathnoxis

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Zenimax’s total equity was about 2.5 billion back in the 2016. Not sure how much has changed since then, but either Microsoft doesn’t care to bargain or we’re not getting the full story of what the extra 5 billion gets them.
After you figure that out can you explain to me why King, mobile games developer, was worth SIX BILLION DOLLARS?
 

Rean

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The problem with the Bethesda purchase is:

1) Bethesda's 2021 schedule is locked and MS won't be able to get to control it before June. Which means it's unknown how much it will be able to help MS in its launch year.

2) Bethesda has had quite a few commercial failures, latest Wolfenstein for example didn't do too hot, Doom Eternal sold gangbusters, breaking all sorts of Doom records, but was still deemed "not successful enough", and FO76 has basically made them into a meme, so there's a ton of work to reform their image.

3) Most of Bethesda's IP assets are already duplicative of efforts that MS itself was doing already, they were already doing a TES-style RPG in Avowed, and do you really need to buy Doom if you already have Halo? This is clearly a very reactive deal (due to the Halo Infinite delay), and not a lot of thought was put into it before hand.

The correct path would have been to keep doing what they're doing, buy up smaller AAA studios and build them up thru hirings and additional resources, Sony-style. But I guess this wasn't quick enough for the Xbox brass.
 

hanselthecaretaker

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The problem with the Bethesda purchase is:

1) Bethesda's 2021 schedule is locked and MS won't be able to get to control it before June. Which means it's unknown how much it will be able to help MS in its launch year.

2) Bethesda has had quite a few commercial failures, latest Wolfenstein for example didn't do too hot, Doom Eternal sold gangbusters, breaking all sorts of Doom records, but was still deemed "not successful enough", and FO76 has basically made them into a meme, so there's a ton of work to reform their image.

3) Most of Bethesda's IP assets are already duplicative of efforts that MS itself was doing already, they were already doing a TES-style RPG in Avowed, and do you really need to buy Doom if you already have Halo? This is clearly a very reactive deal (due to the Halo Infinite delay), and not a lot of thought was put into it before hand.

The correct path would have been to keep doing what they're doing, buy up smaller AAA studios and build them up thru hirings and additional resources, Sony-style. But I guess this wasn't quick enough for the Xbox brass.
But neither was this, so

 

BrawlMan

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Doom records, but was still deemed "not successful enough",
Jesus Christ! I did not like Doom Eternal, but what bullshit is Bethesda pulling? What is this, 2012-2015 again? Where every AAA publisher was claiming a game or series "Sold below expectations!". How much did they want to sell and how much did they blow marketing on? To me the game sold fine, they just have super narrow, overly high, expectations that is trying to reach beyond the universe.

The correct path would have been to keep doing what they're doing, buy up smaller AAA studios and build them up thru hirings and additional resources, Sony-style. But I guess this wasn't quick enough for the Xbox brass.
This, and that's what worries me. They're buying up all of these studios, but if Microsoft is just going to sit there and not doing anything with, then what is the fucking point?!

 
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Rean

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Jesus Christ! I did not like Doom Eternal, but what bullshit is Bethesda pulling? What is this, 2012-2015 again? Where every AAA publisher was claiming a game or series "Sold below expectations!". How much did they want to sell and how much did they blow marketing on? To me the game sold fine, they just super narrow, overly high, expectations that trying to reach beyond the universe.
It reminds me of Square Enix thinking that the reboot of Tomb Raider selling 3.6m copies wasn't good enough, sometimes internal sales pressure makes companies overestimate how much they anticipate games to sell to please the bean counters for a further 6 months.

This, and that's what worries me. They're buying up all of these studios, but if Microsoft is just going to sit there and not doing anything with, then what is the fucking point?!
What I find to be really strange is all the fanboyism going on because Satya Nadella gave Phil spencer a blank check, really reminds me of when Disney bought LucasFilm.

And given all the duplication in "assets" you just know that there will be layoffs and studio closures coming soon. Like when you sit down and think about it, Bethesda and Microsoft are both far too heavily leveraged in FPS and WRPG games and not much else, and making those companies go MS exclusive will probably reduce the sales ceiling of each big title (because the majority of sales for those big IPs happened on the PS4).
 
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Gethsemani

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This, and that's what worries me. They're buying up all of these studios, but if Microsoft is just going to sit there and not doing anything with, then what is the fucking point?!
To get as close to a monopoly as you can. Monopolies are great (if you're the monopoly holder anyway) and the synergy effects of controlling the entire product chain, from the hardware to the publishers to the software developers is massive. MS might never recoup the money they spent on ZeniMax, but that's one less publisher to contend with and MS share of the game market just grew immensely.

If nothing else, they now have a ton of talented game developers, producers, advertisers etc. that they didn't have before and they can simply gut ZeniMax by headhunting all the most talented people to studios and publishers that MS intend to focus on before canning most of ZeniMax. Getting all those human resources is something you can't really put a price on, especially if they can be used to support games you already have in development and who are in a similar genre.
 

BrawlMan

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To get as close to a monopoly as you can. Monopolies are great (if you're the monopoly holder anyway) and the synergy effects of controlling the entire product chain, from the hardware to the publishers to the software developers is massive. MS might never recoup the money they spent on ZeniMax, but that's one less publisher to contend with and MS share of the game market just grew immensely.

If nothing else, they now have a ton of talented game developers, producers, advertisers etc. that they didn't have before and they can simply gut ZeniMax by headhunting all the most talented people to studios and publishers that MS intend to focus on before canning most of ZeniMax. Getting all those human resources is something you can't really put a price on, especially if they can be used to support games you already have in development and who are in a similar genre.
Didn't Microsoft get in trouble before for starting a monoply back in the 80s/early 90s? Can't believe they're trying again. I wonder if the courts will even bother this time.
 

hanselthecaretaker

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Didn't Microsoft get in trouble before for starting a monoply back in the 80s/early 90s? Can't believe they're trying again. I wonder if the courts will even bother this time.
The old “embrace, extend, extinguish” mantra that seems to linger in their corporate philosophy. Yup, and then on the other hand they somehow realized now that they took the wrong stance on open source. Go figure.

They have their tentacles in so many pies though it’s a wonder they can commit to any strategy.


There’s a good read in there if anyone’s interested on the business side of software development and distribution at that time too. But ultimately, seems like what goes around comes around.
 
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hanselthecaretaker

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Seeing more and more of Zenimax's history, is making me more uncomfortable. Definitely not liking this.

Ha, I was literally about to post this. I’m normally not a fan of his act, but it was an entertaining watch; mostly because he’s calling out what most
Mainstream outlets would never have the guts to blatantly state.
 
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CastletonSnob

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I really hope gaming doesn't become like TV and film, where most companies and IPs are owned by a handful of corporate giants.
 

Hawki

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Sometimes it is hard for us hardcore gamers to remember that. (And if you are on a video game forum you are hardcore end of story).
As someone who's on this forum right now, but isn't hardcore, I beg to differ.

do you really need to buy Doom if you already have Halo?
Saying Doom and Halo are similar is like saying that apples are similar to oranges under the basis that they're both fruit.

I really hope gaming doesn't become like TV and film, where most companies and IPs are owned by a handful of corporate giants.
With TV at least, we've got more choice than ever before, to the point where "peak media" entered the lexicon last decade.

Monopolies aren't good, but the TV industry at least hasn't suffered for it.
 

CriticalGaming

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As someone who's on this forum right now, but isn't hardcore, I beg to differ.
The fact that you have your ear to the ground on the gaming news world elevates you beyond the masses of players. You are here because you are more interested in gaming as a hobby than the vast majority and thus.....hardcore.

Bam gottem.
 

Hawki

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The fact that you have your ear to the ground on the gaming news world elevates you beyond the masses of players. You are here because you are more interested in gaming as a hobby than the vast majority and thus.....hardcore.

Bam gottem.
I'm not going to get into semantics as to what counts as hardcore or not. But I'll put it this way. I looked up the list of games Bethesda has published, and not including re-releases, how many of them have I played? 5. Fallout 3, Doom 2016, Doom Eternal, Wolfenstein, and Wolfenstein II, and Fallout and Wolf II not even to completion. Considering that the likes of Fallout and Elder Scrolls are pretty ubiquitous among hardcore gamers, then yeah.

And don't get me wrong, this isn't me saying "oh, my tastes are too refined for such petty games for the common crowd," but in terms of actual playtime, I probably better fit into the casual end of the spectrum than the hardcore one.
 

Rean

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Saying Doom and Halo are similar is like saying that apples are similar to oranges under the basis that they're both fruit.
I'm not talking about the gameplay differences from a consumer perspective, I am talking about their positioning in the market from a commercial perspective. Microsoft has effectively doubled down on what was already a strong position in the FPS market instead of fortifying their position in sub-markets that aren't as strong.

Also the TV space is already being monopolized, Disney owns controls two of the biggest streaming platforms (Disney+ and Hulu), and a not-insignificant share of programming that is currently licensed to its biggest competitor (Netflix)
 
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