Prepare for some more rambling from yours truly, it’s time for your weekly dose of ‘Marshall chats crap about something he doesn’t really know much about but wants to voice his opinion’ segment.
It’s finally been confirmed that parent company of Bethesda, ZeniMax Media has joined the Xbox family. Dunno about you, but I’d happily join a different family for $7.5 Billion. I’d probably even be swayed by $7.50 and a packet of crisps though so take that as you will.
When you first hear the news, your mind goes straight to games like The Elder Scrolls and Fallout – games that are made by Bethesda Studios. But with the recent addition of 20 games to gamepass it has also highlighted just how many other great IP’s Xbox have nabbed with the pricey acquisition. Franchises like Dishonored, Evil Within, Doom and Prey.
Evil Within could easily become a flagship horror franchise for the Xbox – it definitely has the potential. This alongside The Medium, Xbox could be the place to come for a classic horror experience. We all know how much everyone loves Doom, so I don’t need to say much about that.
And then we get to the big boy names like elder scrolls and Fallout – with the possibility of exclusivity to Xbox this is a game changer. We’re not quite sure which games will be exclusive at the present moment, but it’s been confirmed that some titles will be. From what I’ve seen it looks like games that have already been confirmed to release on Playstation will of course do so, but I imagine that all future games won’t. On one hand it could be a good idea to sell the game on other consoles as it drives sales for that game up being on multiple platforms – but on the other hand having such established franchises now exclusively on your doorstep, there’s gonna be a lot more people knocking on your door wanting to play. I can see Xbox bringing in the big bucks with Series X sales when Bethesda release their flagship games.
Those games aren’t going to see the light of day for a few more years at least, so the cost of Xbox consoles is going to go down. If you’ve never owned an Xbox then this could be the time to do it if you’re a fan of any of Bethesda’s franchises. The Series S is a very solid cheap alternative to dip your toes into next gen, and I can see a lot of people purchasing that to play these titles, especially if they already have the power of the PS5.
We’ve seen thousands upon thousands of Playstation fans suddenly realise that they in fact never really liked Bethesda games (sure buddy) – yet Skyrim is one of the most beloved games of the 360/PS3 generation, so work that one out. Let’s be real, Sony killed it the last generation with exclusive games like God of War, The Last of us, Horizon etc. They’ve been ruthless in owning companies like Naughty Dog and holding back the games from other platforms, so don’t go crying to mama when another company starts doing the same thing.
Bethesda aren’t some God like company that can never do wrong, they’ve soured in my eyes over the past few years with decisions they’ve made. I know Fallout 4 Missed the mark, due to the bogging down of RPG mechanics and it being focused more on the gunplay. The generic story and strange choice to have voice actors, limiting speech choices for the player. I hope Xbox will put their hand up in group meetings and tell Todd when an idea sucks, if they have a bit of involvement in the creation process. Bethesda can add a bit more polish to their games now that they’re not really independent, and not ruin already good formulas by trying something new, which often takes something away.
Considering they won’t have problems with cash flow now, having to rely on their own funds to make games I think this can only be a good thing for Zenimax and Bethesda. Although they will definitely have deadlines, I don’t think they will feel rushed at all to push the game out when it’s not finished. I think if they were a part of the Xbox family before Fallout 76 was released, there’s no way it would have seen the light of day until it was ready. This isn’t to say Xbox get it right all the time either, who remembers Crackdown 3? I stayed away from that like a crack fiend stays away from a rehab clinic, it looked so, so bad.
Not even to mention the fact that All of Bethesda titles would come straight to Gamepass on release – Xbox are killing it right now with their service. To accompany this also, the new fps boost and auto HDR features that are going to be introduced to older games. It’s already been released for games like Fallout 4 and Fallout 76, which might make them actually worth playing now on console if they’re at a stable 60fps consistently. Gamepass is even on PC, so PC gamers will be able to play these exclusives without having to fork out for the consoles. Come to think of it, if you are a PC gamer with a decent computer and you’re thinking of getting a console, you may as well get a PS5 ’cause you can play all of Xbox’s titles already.
All in all I can only see this acquisition as a good thing. Sure, exclusivity isn’t good for the consumer as it limits the games you can play depending on what plastic box you’ve chosen to purchase – but business is business. These companies are going to make big power moves in order to harm the opposition, and splashing $7.5 million is the biggest of big boy power moves. If it makes ZeniMax Media’s games improve in quality that’s only a good thing for us, I’m excited to see what the future holds. Bring on Starfield, TES VI and the next Fallout babyyyyyy!