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Bethesda Acquisition Is a Kick in the Balls for PS5, But Sony's Goals Won't Change

PushSquare: “Xbox has acquired Bethesda for a frightening sum of money, putting that oft-referenced Microsoft warchest to use at last. The purchase price, an eye-watering $7.5 billion, eclipses the sum Disney spent on Marvel and Star Wars combined – it’s a frankly flabbergasting figure. It’s also potentially a giant blow for the PlayStation 5, but we don’t think Sony’s plans will change.”

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NecrumOddBoy29d ago

It spits in the face of gamers more than anything.

SaveFerris29d ago

Just business, and MS is smart. Think of all those gamers signing up to Gamepass to play Bethesda games including future titles.

Sonic-and-Crash29d ago (Edited 29d ago )

as you said just business ...even if i am mostly a PS user i say its justified move for MS .....if it is a real kick in the balls for Sony though i say this is nonsense as no Bethesda game is considered system seller or at least good enough to reach Sony s first party quality

Brazz29d ago

@ Sonic-and-Crash
let me correct you... no "current" Bethesda game is considered system seller.
In past gen. Bethesda delivered 2 gigantic sytem sellers:
Skyrim and Fallout 3.

Now, Doom eternal and The wolfenstein are greta games, and Fallout 4 delivered amazing results. Bethesda of today isn't bathesda of 2011 with skyrim, but they still got strong IPs with strong names. Ms made a great deal here.

Marquinho29d ago

From the artice:

"PlayStation, still the global market leader by a country mile, has become an underdog overnight"

Coming from a hardcore PS website. I guess that summarizes how big of a kick in the nuts this was. However, I still don't think Sony has become the underdog at all but the game has radically changed, that's for sure.

Marquinho29d ago

@Sonic-and-Crash

"I say this is nonsense as no Bethesda game is considered system seller or at least good enough to reach Sony s first party quality"

Skyrim beat Uncharted 3 on GOTY 2011.

We'll see about that when Starfield, Elder Scrolls and refreshed titles already in development come out after this acquisition.

bouzebbal29d ago (Edited 29d ago )

I couldn't care less about this acquisition.. I never played a Bethesda game and I'm not fan of western RPG in general.
I'm a Japanese console gamer, I grew up with Seg a and Nintendo.. I would have been sad if they bought Square Enix or Capcom instead. And what made 360 the most popular xbox to date is the Japanese games it got.

I understand Bethesda/xbox fans being so happy about this, but let's be honest...what's the last good game Bethesda released? Last couple games were broken, Fallout 76 was a joke.

fiveby929d ago

It doesn't bother me Zenimax was purchased by MS. At this time I'll still be getting a PS5 first once I can pre-order one. I'll probably just use my PC still for any MS exclusives.

fr0sty29d ago

As long as Bethesda keeps self-publishing games, it doesn't matter whose pocket the money for that game ends up in... it will still be multiplatform. MS was smart to take this approach, much like they did with Minecraft.

Microsoft is positioning themselves to be a competent third party games publisher. I wouldn't be shocked to see Sony start doing this too (Horizon, for instance), acquiring new studios or entire publishers and then letting them keep releasing games multiplatform.

Marquinho29d ago

@fr0sty

LOL. Do you actually believe what you're saying?

Try to hardcore this in your mind: Microsoft now OWNS Bethesda. Games aren't going anywhere Microsoft decides not to. That's the whole concept of Owning a developer/publisher.

There's some tiny hope for you though. Microsoft didn't completely rule out publishing their games on other consoles. They actually said they would decide on a "case by case basis".

Whether you believe they will be in the mood of releasing Starfield on PS5 after knowing Sony wanted it to be a timed exclusive is just a matter of how high is your faith. I wouldn't hold my breath on it =)

Sunny_D29d ago

All this does is it's going to cause Sony to acquire something significant and people who are celebrating now will be crying about it later. The gaming industry will be changing in a probably not so good way due to this precedent. But we'll see what MS does with Bethesda games.

b163o129d ago

FO4 was and still is a disappointment, even with all the DLC. Bethesda is a shadow of the company it once was...

Marquinho29d ago

Those complaining about Microsoft buying Bethesda, are the same that the same crying out loud that MS had no exclusives.

That cr#p ends this generation.

29d ago
Wrex36929d ago

I'm one of them. I signed up 2 weeks ago

DOMination-28d ago

"say this is nonsense as no Bethesda game is considered system seller or at least good enough to reach Sony s first party quality"

You're really going there?

+ Show (13) more repliesLast reply 28d ago
Jin_Sakai29d ago

Seems like Bethesda wanted out and Microsoft was their answer.

https://twitter.com/jeffgru...

RaidenBlack29d ago

"Why Bethesda's stakeholders wanted to sell. AAA gaming's future is unsustainable and murky, and it would take a lot of effort, money, and luck to reorganize for that future. Makes more sense to sell.
I personally don't get worked up about Sony buying exclusives, but I do think there's a distinction.
Microsoft is buying Bethesda to enable its studios to continue making games. That's different than paying a company to keep an existing game off of a competing platform."

AngelicIceDiamond29d ago

So Zenimax predicted their forecast of more spending on AAA games vs actual sales or profits being made back to them is not sustainable.

Meaning they're fine now but later they will struggle through out the gen. They sold to MS to secure, their jobs, studios and games.

CaptainHenry91629d ago (Edited 29d ago )

WOW lol but Bethesda games has been going downhill lately.

crazyCoconuts29d ago

I don't know... if this is really true, why MS? Sure they have deep pockets but they're not exactly known for being turnaround-kings for game developers. Why would MS expect to be successful where Zenimax was not? And at that MAGNITUDE, it's just a huge undertaking if some kind of transformation to GaaS needs to take place, all those studios hitting you at the same time could be bordering on chaotic.

jznrpg29d ago

That’s BS . They sold because it made many people a shitload of money . 7.5billion

dcbronco29d ago

That's what gamers don't understand. And that's why Game Pass is the future of AAA development.

If Microsoft has enough studios to release a highlighted AAA game each month it will keep people subscribed. If enough do it allows your games to receive financing as development goes on. Currently 15 million subscribers gets Microsoft 225,000,000 a month in revenue. If you're supporting 12 main games with 50 million dollar budgets you have covered your cost for them after 3 months of payments. Even if the subscribers only liked four of the AAA titles they will find plenty of other titles to play along with favorites like Battlefield and Fifa. So they keep paying.

An independent developer or one depending strictly on selling copies to cover cost has to be successful. They might have bank loans for development cost and will need financing for the next game. The Game Pass developer knows they have financing. They know can take chances on ideas. As long as they hit from time to time a failure doesn't mean the developer could die.

It's the best way to finance games, keep prices stable and allow developers to take creative risk.

Ulf28d ago (Edited 28d ago )

Microsoft bought Zenimax, not Bethesda -- Zenimax owns Bethesda, and everything associated. Your perspective is a little off.

+ Show (4) more repliesLast reply 28d ago
CrimsonWing6929d ago

Not if you are buying an Xbox.

Look, I'm team Sony, but let's not pretend like exclusives never existed and this is how you keep the market competitive.

If Sony starts losing consumers to Xbox because that's the only place they can play Elder Scrolls 6 and Star Field, well Sony will step up their game and try to make stronger exclusives to keep from losing consumers.

Sure, you can be salty about it, but at the end of the day these businesses are in a boxing match. MS has been on the ropes this whole gen so now it's nice to actually see them fight back for once.

medman29d ago

@crimsonwing69
I agree. As a multiconsole and pc gamer, I always look at it from the perspective of if you want to play the games badly enough, you will buy the devices that allow you to play the games you like. For me, Sony has more of the exclusives I love, so ps5 is no-brainer. I'm also getting a series x, but mostly because I skipped xbox one this gen so on day one gamepass has games there that I haven't played this gen. It's funny how people keep saying this deal is bad news for Sony, but never seem to mention Nintendo. All these companies are in the same boat, competing for our dollars. I have zero problems with this move by Microsoft, I'm only hoping that some of their now 23 studios produce some great single player content, and don't turn every production into GAAS.

NecrumOddBoy29d ago

Can you give me an example of a fully third-party studio that has been purchased by Sony?

FlavorLav0129d ago (Edited 29d ago )

Yea but Sony also grew the majority of its studios organically, thoughtfully, purposefully, and over time. Microsoft is just throwing fistfuls of money at its lack of exclusives problem between generations, buying an entire publisher and hoping that resolves all their slacking for the last gen and a half. I wish them luck, I will be there with a new Xbox to check it out, but I don’t think this turns around the ship so to speak on MS’ Xbox leadership or as publishers themselves, especially if they turn many of these beloved franchises into GAAS & Services BS for every other title, only time will tell.

CrimsonWing6929d ago

@NecrumOddBoy

Does Insomniac count?

derek29d ago

Microsoft is big fat bloated entity that has no business being involved in the gaming industry. They will run Bethesda into the ground and lose interest in this latest gambit of theirs once it proves to be a useless leverage play.

Army_of_Darkness29d ago

It's time Sony. Get a development studio to make an awesome western RPG to compete with fallout and elder scrolls.

29d ago
darksky28d ago (Edited 28d ago )

Elder scrolls is a massive ip. So sad if it goes exclusive to Xbox.

+ Show (6) more repliesLast reply 28d ago
mrsolidsteel2029d ago

I’m not sure if Bethesda/Zenimax negotiated in the deal that they still want to make multiplatform titles, but regardless MS has the final word on what they can do.

I will never co-sign any of the big three publishers outright buying third party developers, because by doing that you’re alienating a huge portion of the gaming community.

That is why first and second party studios exist so they make exclusive software for that particular platform.

I will never understand MS, they could’ve easily created multiple studios of their own with the amount money that they spent on Zenimax.

Let’s hope MS actually does something with these studios that are under their umbrella now.

I don’t want to see another Rare incident.

Atom66629d ago

"Creating studios" isn't exactly easy though.

Nintendo has been cultivating its internal teams since the 80s. They're kind of the exception.

When Sony entered the market, they had to jump start that process and buy teams of their own. Something they continue to do.

MS did that a little, but lack of effort on their part over the years resulted in the abysmal 1st party we saw up until Spencer and Co. opened the wallet and floodgates in 2017ish.

It absolutely should have been sooner, but buying established teams is the only realistic way to get things moving quickly. To go from 5(?) 1st party teams to 23 in three years?

Plus, you can try to build a great team with talent like the Initiative, but that's far from easy, and who knows how it pans out for them. You cannot put a price tag on teams made of people who have worked together, trust one another, and know how to get things done already.

mkis00729d ago

Im curious if MS can manage this many studios, when they have had problems with the small number they had up until recently. Like just being able to buy them is one thing. Keeping them all happy and successful is another. It is why Sony works directly with those they buy for years before they buy them.

Marquinho29d ago

Games from Bethesda will become more accesible without losing quality under Microsoft umbrella. That's pure joy for consumers. You don't even need an Xbox for Game Pass (or xCloud)

AngelicIceDiamond29d ago

Before MS July event it was rumored that MS had a major acquisition and mic drop moment.

My guess is MS couldn't get the deal done in time but really wanted to announce the Zenimax buy out. That would of been huge in July. Looks like they were just in time to secure the deal just a day before pre-orders

derek29d ago

@Marquinho you Gamepass dudes sound just like cult members the way you evangelize that service.

BillyG0AT29d ago

If that's a spit in the face then what Sony has done over the years is pissing on our ancestors graves.

Jokes aside though, it's business. It happens in every aspect of it, too. It's like rule one of business club - Offer something the competition can't. Regardless of how you do it. If it's not illegal, it's just tough init.

AngelicIceDiamond29d ago (Edited 29d ago )

Just like Spider man only on the PS4 version of Marvel's Avengers. It's just buissness then right?

Street Fighter is only on ps4. Its buissness don't be upset.

Final Fantasy 16 only on PS5? Just buissness.

Numerous DLC and expansions hitting the PS4 only or timed is just buissness also.

Sony was even making Starfield exclusive to PS5. If that deal went through its just buissness right? shrugs*

You can argue that MS acquisition dwarfs all of Sony's dealings combined (which it does) it doesn't matter, because it doesn't change the fact that Sony has been slapping ppl in the face this whole time.

P_Bomb29d ago (Edited 29d ago )

Is this your first gen gaming?

“Just like Spider man only on the PS4 version of Marvel's Avengers. It's just buissness then right? “

Just like Hulk, Dr Doom, Magneto, Sabertooth, Venom, Cyclops, Nightcrawler, Hawkeye exclusive to Xbox in Marvel Ultimate Alliance. You know Xbox had an exclusive Aquaman game too, right?

“ Street Fighter is only on ps4. Its buissness don't be upset. ”

Witcher 2 on XB says hi. Dead Rising 3, Sunset Overdrive. Quantum Break, Alan Wake. Wanna go back to Saints Row 1?

“ Final Fantasy 16 only on PS5? Just buissness.”

Been there done that with Splinter Cell Conviction only on XB. Then 1 year of Rise of the Tomb Raider. Still waiting for Portal: Still Alice and Trials: Evolution.

“ Numerous DLC and expansions hitting the PS4 only or timed is just buissness also.”

You don’t remember the $50 million deal for GTA Gay Tony/Lost and Damned first on Xbox?All the COD map packs first on 360? Tomb Raider Underworld still has exclusive XB DLC.

“ You can argue that MS acquisition dwarfs all of Sony's dealings combined (which it does) it doesn't matter, because it doesn't change the fact that Sony has been slapping ppl in the face this whole time.”

If only you were around in the Mass Effect era. I had to pay extra just to get the ME1 disc on PS3, many years after XB had it. Talkin’ to me about hard times...

outsider162429d ago

"Sony has been slapping ppl in the face this whole time."

Wow! Holding a grudge are we?
So does that mean You forgive MS for slapping you this whole gen. I mean now that they bought exclusives.

Like PBomb says this must be your first time gaming.

itsmebryan29d ago

How does it spit in the face of Xbox and PC gamers? They get access to all of these games at a low price. It's not MS job to worry about Sony gamers. They are not their customers. Did Sony worry about Xbox gamers when they bought ghost wire and Deathloop as exclusives for PS5? Isn't that a spit in the face of gamers?

Sony could only afford timed exclusives and MS could afford the whole company. No one is more noble than the other.

angelsx29d ago

i don't play Bethesda games so i don't care.

Kiwi6629d ago

Would it be a spit in the face of gamers if any other company had brought them?

sampsonon29d ago

I will play their games and play my ps5. It's nice having a pc.

Tedakin29d ago

If Sony had bought Bethesda would you be saying that? At least MS will still put the games on PC. Sony would hog them all on their Playstation.

Christopher29d ago

Not if they keep the known IPs on the platforms upon which they're known to be playable. So far, they're keeping their other purchases on other platforms as well (Outer Worlds, Wasteland 3, etc.). But, new IP? They might keep those on their own platforms.

Furthermore, Bethesda is going to remain in publishing, so that tells me they are going to be publishing to all platforms with the games they publish.

I feel like Bethesda was a low price for such a company (Minecraft was $2.5b) and that while Microsoft "owns" Bethesda, Bethesda still does its things and there's an agreement to keep things on other platforms while giving Microsoft the ability to control where it goes digitally/cloud-wise as well as deciding on benefits for utilizing Xbox platforms over others. I feel like this whole purchase was more symbiotic in nature rather than just straight up only on Xbox. Microsoft gets profits and surety, Bethesda gets to continue doing what they were doing.

RightFootGames29d ago (Edited 29d ago )

A low price...

If Bethesda sold their games for $70 at 100% profit they would need to sell 107,142,857 games.

In all 34 years of Bethesda being in business there is zero chance they have made 7.5 billion total in profit.

Wulfer29d ago

Then you and many others should have shut your trap about MS and Xbox not having games! What did you expect Microsoft to do leave the market? This was never going to happen no matter how many fanboys wished it!

TheEroica29d ago

Can someone pass this guy some me kleenex?

outsider162429d ago

I wouldn't say that. I mean we were the ones shouting out "MS has no Gamez!". Ms got angry and said fine and took their cheque book. I never expected MS to put up quite a fight like this though.

Tiqila29d ago

At this point I'm deciding to not get a next gen console at all.

F8ck you PS+ and games with gold/gamespass and even Nintendo online, all these paywalls are freaking me out and everyone defends them. Now MS/Sony are buying out developers. See what happened to Blizzard when Activision bought them. They are not doing Diablo 2's and Warcraft III's anymore. They do Diablo mobile, cheap no-effort remakes, and micro transactions.

Forgive my rant and enjoy the GaaS future. I'm out.

Obz29d ago

Oh shut up. You utter hypocrite. It's only okay when Sony has exclusives huh broke b*itch?

Ursozord29d ago

I felt the same when Street Fighter remained exclusive on the Playstation. In fact, I have felt it many times over all the old generations of console: Always with some specific game it magically changed direction. One thing that helps a lot is to have a PC and just jump over those walls, as i played Street Fighter 5 with PC help.

MTVBG29d ago

@Marquinho

You're embarrassing yourself.

Bethesda will still self-publish and their agreement with Microsoft protects that. No company in their right mind - especially one whose games sell least well on Xbox - would agree to be exclusive to Microsoft in that manner.

fr0sty is correct, and you don't seem to understand that business ownership does not always mean absolute control over everything the 'owned' company does.

Bethesda and Microsoft have both already clarified that Microsoft do not have final say over what platform Bethesda chooses to publish on.

Reading your comments has been physically painful. In future, say nothing unless you know what you're talking about.

You've been heavily ratio'd here repeatedly for good reason. Take a hint.

29d ago
Nintentional28d ago

But I bet you’re totally okay with FF VI being a PS5 exclusive and rejoiced when you heard the announcement 👌🏼

If it was announced that Sony purchased Bethesda (they can’t afford it though), you’d probably be on cloud nine 🙃

+ Show (21) more repliesLast reply 28d ago
isarai29d ago

that has yet to be seen. Yeah it CAN be a "kick in the balls" but from the sounds of it things will still be multiplatform focused like the Mojang/Minecraft acquisition. I think they would like to recoup that money fast, and making their games exclusive chokes that prospect. But hey, maybe they will, who knows🤷‍♂️

CorndogBurglar29d ago

MS will want to start recouping some of that 7.5 billion they spent. One of the best ways is to keep all these games multiplatform for the forseeable future. Why limit hour sales for those games to only Xbox users when you can more than double it with PS5 customers also?

crazyCoconuts29d ago

Because it's a carrot to try and get PS players over to MS platform where they make even more money on future game and service purchases?

darthv7229d ago

That is their plan. Already existing and well established multiplat franchises will remain that way. New IP's will be exclusive to xbox/pc.

Elda29d ago (Edited 29d ago )

Including Nintendo & Stadia. Keeping most of those games multi-plat would be a wise business decision if they want to reap the rewards of money but if this is all about MS wanting exclusive bragging rights then the future of Bethesda may be exclusive to the MS/XB platform solely which would hamper them making that multi-platform money.

Atom66629d ago

I don't know. Why spend 7.5 billion when you could spend a whole lot less on some kind of exclusive deal on stuff? Based on the net earnings I've seen floating around on Zenimax, they're looking at 15+ years to recoup the purchase price if they continue with business as usual.

Even if they just wanted to drive Gamepass numbers, they could sign a deal to deliver Fallout 5 or whatever on gp day one. Would be a lot cheaper.

You make a deal like this when you're thinking big picture. Say ES6 sells 10 million on PS5. Subtract Sony's cut, and reduce to reflect sales and just net proceeds, and you're looking at a nice $200-300 million netted over a couple years.

Now think of what it means if games like ES or Fallout or Starfield attract just 5 million new gamers to Xbox because they are exclusive...

Best case scenario for MS is if they ignore the short term sales they'd get on PS5, and try to grab more market share for long term profits by making them exclusive.

isarai29d ago (Edited 29d ago )

@crazyCoconuts and darth72

Excpept according to Phil they aren't interested in console sales, and why would they try and leverage this for more XSX sales they are taking a loss on when they can toss them on multiple platforms and reap far more for less investment. But like i said, who knows, we'll just have to wait and see

+ Show (2) more repliesLast reply 29d ago
TheDibbler29d ago

It is all speculation at this point but I don't think the majority of these games will go multiplatform. I see the Minecraft example very differently as that game was already on PS4 when the acquisition was made. Trying to pull the game at that point would have only hurt them and the active player base on the platform. They released Minecraft Dungeons there after the fact just due to already having the base in place. This on the other hand is different because we are talking about unreleased games like Starfield, ES6, etc. I'm betting they keep these games exclusive for the sake of selling more GamePass subscriptions. Consistent revenue that you can depend on is always better than one-off purchases and this is where building up your content portfolio makes sense. Netflix wouldn't bother to acquire content from other sources only to also allow it on Amazon and Hulu. Microsoft doesn't care if you buy an Xbox or not but if they can get PS5 owners to use Xcloud and GamePass for $15 a month then that is a win and cheap for the PlayStation user.

darthv7229d ago (Edited 29d ago )

to put it simply, Minecraft was already a multiplat release. MS knew the value of keeping it that way and expanding on it even more than the original creator thought possible. Merchandising and marketing... the game got huge. Like what Disney did with Star Wars vs what Lucas wasnt doing. And MS will keep key multiplat franchises exactly that... multiplat. New IP's from these studios will be on the case by case basis which means XB/PC get dibs (right of first refusal). MS was not stupid, this is a huge win for their platform and esp game pass.