Breaking: Microsoft purchasing Zenimax for $7.5 billion.

Rean

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Jul 17, 2020
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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.
A) A company's legal assertion is not a viable argument until they actually win on the issues presented. And we probably won't get a resolution on that case for years.

B) Even assuming that A is true, the console business is way different from iOS, console makers are very involved in the marketing of games that are on their systems (an example of this is Xbox giving CDPR a spot in their E3 conference to talk about Cyberpunk 2077), they frequently contribute funds and support that go towards lessening the risk of game development in exchange for timed/full exclusivity (see Xbox with Cuphead or Sony with Death Stranding), they contribute towards QA etc. Most of those services are provided without any coercion to publish on their system(s), nor do they impose specific business models on devs either.

In short, Closed System does not necessarily = Monopoly, and monopoly does not necessarily = Antitrust violation. What Apple is doing is fundamentally different, look up the way they forced ProtonMail to have a paid option just to get the recurring fees on their ApplePay service, I don't see Sony or Nintendo forcing devs into an F2P model for example, nor do I see them threatening devs with expulsion if they publish on MS's stores or Steam for example.

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.
Let's not make the mistake of thinking that companies are out for anything that isn't their bottom line, I am not against that because realistically, no one has found a better solution than money to make the world go round.

But I am against being patronized by corporate sharks trying to make me feel like I'm their friend, and I am sure as hell against people falling for hype and not realizing what's actually happening, that the only real beneficiary of the Zenimax/MS deal are the two companies that exchanged money for shares, the larger gamer community didn't gain anything in the deal, and in fact lost out on market options with no real guarantee of quality improvement (you can argue that the other studios were never moneymakers and needed a strong partner to keep them afloat after multiple losses in the market).

And I have severe doubts over MS's ability to make money from Gamepass, there's potential in the concept, but widespread adoption isn't happening at prices that make sense for all parties involved, I am %100 sure that MS is taking an absolute bath on everything gamepass (especially with the way they keep cutting other companies into their margins), and I anticipate heavy GP price hikes during the next two years no matter how well the new consoles do.

Gamepass honestly sounds like the Uber of video games, it's a business proposition that cannot make sense to the consumer without heavy, heavy price subsidization, otherwise it collapses against traditional business models in the marketplace.
 
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