Breaking: Microsoft purchasing Zenimax for $7.5 billion.

Hawki

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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.
Not sure what you're getting at here exactly, but taking a guess, I'd state the following.

-I doubt Microsoft was overly concerned with Bethesda's FPS IPs (no, Fallout doesn't count) when it purchased it. Bethesda's biggest IPs are Fallout and Elder Scrolls, and both are RPGs, and RPGs that are played extensively on PC at that (rather than, say, JRPGs). So if there was any genre they were interested in, it would be that one. So if anything, that's them getting their hands into markets that their main IPs aren't already in.

-I doubt bringing Doom, Quake, and Wolfenstein into the Microsoft family is really going to cut into Halo. I really can't say how much pollination there is between the IPs, but unlike other genres, it's probably possible to play multiple FPS games without it seriously cutting into your time. Least if you're looking at singleplayer.

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)
I didn't deny it was being monopolized, pointed out that so far, we've had a surge of TV shows.

If anything, I'd kind of prefer a monopoly on streaming content, because it would mean I'd be able to access everything from the one site. Nowadays, I have to keep track as to what show's on which streaming platform, where. And living outside the US, that's a significantly reduced selection for a lot of streaming services, and in some cases, the services aren't available here at all.
 

hanselthecaretaker

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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.
I beg to differ further. Of the games you mentioned, I’ve tried two (DOOM, Wolfenstein), finished none. Also tried the first Dishonored on Steam but had it refunded. I wanted to like it but it the slow, scripted opening, half-assed art style and cheap feeling mechanics did their damndest to prevent that. Oh, and I tried the original Fallout as well, but lost interest about twenty or so game days in.

On the other hand, I’ve Platinum’d over a dozen other games including Demon’s Souls, Dark Souls and Bloodborne, all the classic God of War’s, MK11, etc. Also have several random Ultra Rare trophies, like beating Killzone 2 on Elite and an obscure, masochist Indie title like Bloodrayne: Betrayal.

Having said that, I don’t think it makes me any more hardcore than what Critical mentioned about simply following the industry enough to stay on top of it (ie daily) and care about what happens in it. “Hardcore” is such a broad term though too. There are people out there who Platinum every game they play whereas my completion ratio has been at 49% for years. I also hardly buy any new games anymore, but play some of what I do have with gusto, and think about them to an almost obsessive degree.
 

Ezekiel

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Can't imagine why I'd ever want to play Elder Scrolls, Doom or Evil Within with a controller. Mouse and keyboard is the only way to go. This news is like whatever. I'm still not in favor of exclusivity by payment, though. Much better when it's exclusive because the company (Sony/Nintendo) made it.
 
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hanselthecaretaker

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Can't imagine why I'd ever want to play Elder Scrolls, Doom or Evil Within with a controller. Mouse and keyboard is the only way to go. This news is like whatever. I'm still not in favor of exclusivity by payment, though. Much better when it's exclusive because the company (Sony/Nintendo) made it.
Do you recall your mouse settings for TEW? I tried that at first but the rest of the game felt too sluggish next to the snappier aiming. Maybe I was doing it wrong.
 

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Do you recall your mouse settings for TEW? I tried that at first but the rest of the game felt too sluggish next to the snappier aiming. Maybe I was doing it wrong.
I know the m+kb controls for the first EW we're not that good. While the sequel did a better job, the controls for the second game were fine. I had little to no issues
 

Ezekiel

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Do you recall your mouse settings for TEW? I tried that at first but the rest of the game felt too sluggish next to the snappier aiming. Maybe I was doing it wrong.
No. Think I turned off mouse acceleration. I don't remember.
 

sXeth

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Making the rouunds, Spencer commented on a question about whether MS could justify the deal without releasing on all platforms (specifically PS5)



“Is it possible to recoup a $7.5 billion investment if you don’t sell Elder Scrolls VI on the PlayStation?” I asked.

“Yes,” Spencer quickly replied.

Then he paused.

“I don’t want to be flip about that,” he added. “This deal was not done to take games away from another player base like that. Nowhere in the documentation that we put together was: ‘How do we keep other players from playing these games?’ We want more people to be able to play games, not fewer people to be able to go play games. But I’ll also say in the model—I’m just answering directly the question that you had—when I think about where people are going to be playing and the number of devices that we had, and we have xCloud and PC and Game Pass and our console base, I don’t have to go ship those games on any other platform other than the platforms that we support in order to kind of make the deal work for us. Whatever that means.”

Ah yes "in the model" it would work if they do them as exclusives. Of course we all know AAA financial modelling and its long a reputable history of being accurate and realistic (Let's sell 12 million copies of every single game we make, saith the Squeenix).


Other then that, its more or less politician grade bluster. "Well of course we don't want to do the bad thing. But we could totally do the bad thing and be totally fine:". Setting it up as some grand generosity if they do release on other platforms while still trying to maintain that they didn't need to.



There's also a distinction that isn't really covered, cause I'm sure Microsoft can probably make back 7.5 billion simply enough, but the Xbox division specifically, not so much.
 
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hanselthecaretaker

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Making the rouunds, Spencer commented on a question about whether MS could justify the deal without releasing on all platforms (specifically PS5)






Ah yes "in the model" it would work if they do them as exclusives. Of course we all know AAA financial modelling and its long a reputable history of being accurate and realistic (Let's sell 12 million copies of every single game we make, saith the Squeenix).


Other then that, its more or less politician grade bluster. "Well of course we don't want to do the bad thing. But we could totally do the bad thing and be totally fine:". Setting it up as some grand generosity if they do release on other platforms while still trying to maintain that they didn't need to.



There's also a distinction that isn't really covered, cause I'm sure Microsoft can probably make back 7.5 billion simply enough, but the Xbox division specifically, not so much.
I’d really love to know why they paid roughly 5 billion above Zenimax’s total equity. Even taking into consideration any projected value increase that’s still three times what it’s apparently worth on paper.
 

Gethsemani

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I’d really love to know why they paid roughly 5 billion above Zenimax’s total equity. Even taking into consideration any projected value increase that’s still three times what it’s apparently worth on paper.
Why is Epic giving away free games every week? It is pretty obvious that MS is making a concerted effort to get back in the gaming business, probably trying for a monopoly via Xbox/MS store. One of the best ways to do that quick (if you have the money) is to bleed money up front so you can get revenue back long term when you can funnel customers into your storefronts.

Both Epic and MS are trying to break into a saturated market where the big actors (Valve and Sony) have de facto monopolies on the marketplaces. MS is obviously lining up to compete with Valve and Sony by buying up entire developers so that they can get Xbox/MS store exclusivity for big game franchises.
 

hanselthecaretaker

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Why is Epic giving away free games every week? It is pretty obvious that MS is making a concerted effort to get back in the gaming business, probably trying for a monopoly via Xbox/MS store. One of the best ways to do that quick (if you have the money) is to bleed money up front so you can get revenue back long term when you can funnel customers into your storefronts.

Both Epic and MS are trying to break into a saturated market where the big actors (Valve and Sony) have de facto monopolies on the marketplaces. MS is obviously lining up to compete with Valve and Sony by buying up entire developers so that they can get Xbox/MS store exclusivity for big game franchises.
Well yeah, but five billion dollars above value. That's a lot of blood. Like, 2x in excess. The only thing I can think of why without any more info is that the purchase was like an auction, and Microsoft outbid everyone. Probably by a lot, I guess because they can and don't care much beyond that.
 

Gethsemani

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Well yeah, but five billion dollars above value. That's a lot of blood. Like, 2x in excess. The only thing I can think of why without any more info is that the purchase was like an auction, and Microsoft outbid everyone. Probably by a lot, I guess because they can and don't care much beyond that.
I am guessing that ZeniMax wasn't too keen on being bought out, so the shareholders and board took a massive paycheck to relinquish control to Microsoft. The old adage of "everyone has their price" and all that.
 
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Rean

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I find the current gamer mentality to be utterly weird tbh, where you see people crying foul over timed exclusives or even over console-exclusive characters, and yet they are tripping over themselves cheering for a massive company buying out one of the biggest multi-platform AAA publishers and locking their products out of several large ecosystems... Because why?

Either accept that exclusivity in all its kinds is a major, major competitive edge that companies can't do without (Which I honestly do), or denounce it in its entirety.

(And I don't like Phil Spencer trying to maintain his nice guy facade while doing it either, if you are going to be Mr. Corporate Shark and gobble up all the independent multi-platform devs and publishers on the market, then own your status and don't patronize consumers).

Why is Epic giving away free games every week? It is pretty obvious that MS is making a concerted effort to get back in the gaming business, probably trying for a monopoly via Xbox/MS store. One of the best ways to do that quick (if you have the money) is to bleed money up front so you can get revenue back long term when you can funnel customers into your storefronts.

Both Epic and MS are trying to break into a saturated market where the big actors (Valve and Sony) have de facto monopolies on the marketplaces. MS is obviously lining up to compete with Valve and Sony by buying up entire developers so that they can get Xbox/MS store exclusivity for big game franchises.
Sony is nowhere near a Monopoly in the console gaming space , last gen they sold roughly %65 of all consoles, and this is not even counting however much Nintendo sold during the global lockdowns. This isn't even remotely comparable to Steam, who easily own over %95 of the PC gaming market.
 

DJShaddycat

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Have such mixed feelings on this. On one hand, Bethesda and Zenimax have not been treating their IP's very well. On the other hand, I despise massive corporations controlling large amounts of IP's.

Ultimately, would've much rather had Bethesda start treating their properties better. But this is probably the next best thing.
 
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Gethsemani

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Sony is nowhere near a Monopoly in the console gaming space , last gen they sold roughly %65 of all consoles, and this is not even counting however much Nintendo sold during the global lockdowns. This isn't even remotely comparable to Steam, who easily own over %95 of the PC gaming market.
Sony is a monopoly in the same way that Apple is according to Epic: They operate both the hardware and the software part of their business and is a closed ecosystem gatekept by the company. They can make whatever demands they like and if you want in you've got to comply. Xbox (or Nintendo for that matter) is similar, but since Xbox is smaller and much more interchangable with PCs it makes the Xbox less of a closed ecosystem then Playstation. By taking major franchises away from Sony, MS knows that it can count on increased Xbox sales because if you want a Bethesda game on consoles, those are your two options.
 

stroopwafel

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I find the current gamer mentality to be utterly weird tbh, where you see people crying foul over timed exclusives or even over console-exclusive characters, and yet they are tripping over themselves cheering for a massive company buying out one of the biggest multi-platform AAA publishers and locking their products out of several large ecosystems... Because why?

Either accept that exclusivity in all its kinds is a major, major competitive edge that companies can't do without (Which I honestly do), or denounce it in its entirety.

(And I don't like Phil Spencer trying to maintain his nice guy facade while doing it either, if you are going to be Mr. Corporate Shark and gobble up all the independent multi-platform devs and publishers on the market, then own your status and don't patronize consumers).

Sony is nowhere near a Monopoly in the console gaming space , last gen they sold roughly %65 of all consoles, and this is not even counting however much Nintendo sold during the global lockdowns. This isn't even remotely comparable to Steam, who easily own over %95 of the PC gaming market.
There used to be a time when exclusives meant competition between companies and better games but that is no longer the case. It's pretty obvious microsoft see xbox(or more primarily gamepass) as nothing more than a business opportunity. Their heart isn't in it. Think of Sony what you will but people like Yoshida and now that Dutch bloke have great passion for videogames and they want to publish and make great games. With microsoft it's nothing but corporate greed and this acquisition fits perfectly in that company objective. It's pretty obvious gamepass is going to make them a lot of money but where is the creativity or where is the passion? There is absolutely none. Microsoft just throws money around hoping that it makes more money and that is really just it. They are going to milk those Bethesda studios and IPs for all it's worth just to boost gamepass subscriptions. That is really where the money's at nowadays. Needless to say you're not going to put a lot of effort in providing constant content for a monthly subscription service. People just go through it like your average mind numbing netflix show.
 

BrawlMan

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But this is probably the next best thing.
Not for me, but I understand why you think that.

There used to be a time when exclusives meant competition between companies and better games but that is no longer the case. It's pretty obvious microsoft see xbox(or more primarily gamepass) as nothing more than a business opportunity. Their heart isn't in it. Think of Sony what you will but people like Yoshida and now that Dutch bloke have great passion for videogames and they want to publish and make great games. With microsoft it's nothing but corporate greed and this acquisition fits perfectly in that company objective. It's pretty obvious gamepass is going to make them a lot of money but where is the creativity or where is the passion? There is absolutely none. Microsoft just throws money around hoping that it makes more money and that is really just it. They are going to milk those Bethesda studios and IPs for all it's worth just to boost gamepass subscriptions. That is really where the money's at nowadays. Needless to say you're not going to put a lot of effort in providing constant content for a monthly subscription service. People just go through it like your average mind numbing netflix show.
Big Yes to all of that. That is what worries me and what I've been pointing out. Microsoft has a habit of buying up studios thinking they will be an instant success. They might actually do something this time, instead of a studio becoming a hollow version of its former self, but it shows that same lack effort Microsoft has been doing for the whole decade. The fact that people like Max_Dood nor Double Toasted are not as worried as they should be is a red flag. Max is talking about how there needs to be competition. Yeah, that is all well and good buddy, but it's not much of a competition when you buying up the fucking the competition. Thankfully Sony and Nintendo have been doing great with what they got despite their own issues and problem. I am not looking forward to anything Microsoft if this what they have to offer. Both can fuck off with the $70.00 price tag. If Nintendo starts doing that, they can fuck off too! I better not hear any one makes excuses for the Big N, if they arbitrarily decided something stupid.
 
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DJShaddycat

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Not for me, but I understand why you think that.
I do wonder, what would be the next best thing for you then? I definitely understand why you might not think it's the next best thing, but if Bethesda treating their IP's with more respect is out of the picture, what instead would you rather see happen to those titles?
 

BrawlMan

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I do wonder, what would be the next best thing for you then? I definitely understand why you might not think it's the next best thing, but if Bethesda treating their IP's with more respect is out of the picture, what instead would you rather see happen to those titles?
I do not know. I just know for a fact that I don't give a rat's ass about Fallout . All I really care about is Evil Within. Ghost: Tokyo Wire too. I would like Tango Games to go to somebody like THQ Nordic. I would say that or Capcom, but I know shinji and the other programmers don't want to deal with them again