Earlier this week you probably caught the news that Microsoft has acquired ZeniMax Media. This means that Bethesda, and all the developers they’ve worked with over the years on games such as The Evil Within, Wolfenstein, and Dishonored, are now part of Microsoft. This is an industry-shaking piece of news, but what does it mean for the average consumer?
Better Game Pass
Firstly, Microsoft’s Game Pass is now even better value for money. All of those games from Bethesda and various other developers are coming to Game Pass. On top of that, any new games that they make will also be brought to Game Pass on day one. If you have Game Pass, you’re going to get things like The Elder Scrolls 6 and Starfield straight away. This is where I can see Microsoft pushing this deal, making Game Pass the ultimate subscription service, and that’s the direction it’s heading in.
No More PS5 Exclusives
While Microsoft has said that they’ll honour the timed exclusivity for Deathloop and Ghostwire: Tokyo, I think this is the end of PlayStation 5 exclusives from ZeniMax Media studios. While under Microsoft, none of these developers will be doing Sony any favours, they’ll be boosting Game Pass even more with their fantastic games. This isn’t going to hurt Sony too badly, but it will mean that the PlayStation 5 is at a serious disadvantage regarding these games from before its own release date.
Looking at Minecraft, which Microsoft acquired when they purchased developer Mojang, I think we can expect much better cross-play on a wider range of games from here on out. Minecraft is on all platforms, and everyone can play together. With games like DOOM Eternal still to launch on the Switch, I think that Microsoft will be pumping money into getting more versions out, and ensuring they all have cross-play. More players ultimately means more money, which is good for Microsoft, so why wouldn’t they look to do this?
Xbox Is The Place To Play
All of the games put out by ZeniMax Media over the years have gone on to develop followings, be they large or small. Microsoft knows this, and they’re going to capitalise on it. Whether they make as many of these games as they can Xbox exclusives, or go down the route of allowing the games to be on all platforms, they’re going to be making the Xbox Series X and S the best place to play. I have no doubt in my mind that this could push Microsoft over the edge, and make thier next-generation console the winner of 2020. As for whether that will continue into 2021, we’ll have to see what else they do.