Bethesda is a Welcome Addition to Xbox’s First Party
After six months of waiting, it’s now official. Fallout, Doom, Elder Scrolls are all officially first-party games and Bethesda is owned by Microsoft. What a time to be alive.
The biggest surprise of 2020 was the announcement that Bethesda was being bought out by Microsoft, which is clever because it will immediately start paying off. Games joined Gamepass, fans will buy into the ecosystem – the value of owning an Xbox has increased.
There will be a transition period, but by the time Starfield, Elder Scrolls 6 and Fallout are available, this will be the new normal.
This is an exciting time to be a multiplatform gamer.
Please Stand By – The Bethesda Deal in Brief
Microsoft paid $7.5 billion for Zenimax – Bethesda’s parent company. That means the likes of Fallout, Doom, Elder Scrolls, Wolfenstein and the as-yet-unreleased Starfield are officially Xbox property, to do with what Microsoft executives wish.
That’s good news for Xbox and PC owners. Every new game will come into Gamepass on day one. Every old game will be added. Because of this deal, some of the most popular franchises of all time will be more accessible and more readily available than ever.
As first party titles, you can expect Fallout and Elder Scrolls to be officially supported with FPS Boost. Fallout 4 was already announced with this feature, although it’s not yet available. I would expect announcements in the coming weeks.
Months of speculation and discussion will finally get firm answers. No longer will people with no knowledge of business write long twisty rants that always end up with them still playing Fallout on PlayStation 5. Those faux experts can spend their time in a more interesting way, learning things like how to withdraw cash from Coral.
The immediate impact of this will become clear over the coming days, but one thing’s clear: everything has changed.
Xbox’s Value has Gone Up
Between the Xbox One X and Gamepass, there have been a lot of reasons to buy into the Xbox ecosystem. The Series X brilliantly builds on those successes.
But the biggest criticism has been the lack of first party titles. This has been in slow turnaround since Microsoft started buying studios in 2018, and slow is the right word. Games can’t just pop up out of nowhere, but potential doesn’t fill out your ecosystem.
With the launch of a new device, new games are needed. But when your studios have either all just released games or are years out from having finished their next project, you need something to fill your first year or so. Sony answered this question by buying up timed exclusives. Microsoft spent $7.5b.
As the roadmap becomes obvious, 2021 is going to be a surprise to those who have been used to the status quo. Sony’s offerings – especially if Horizon is delayed into 2022 – is going to be good, but Microsoft’s has the potential to be fantastic.
That will be vitally important over the Christmas period this year.
Bethesda is a Welcome Addition to Xbox’s First Party – Conclusion
But this is reliant on Microsoft making the right decisions, and having the right tailwind behind them going into the holiday. If these games aren’t ready, they’re not ready, and they shouldn’t be release half cooked.
But there is a sense of urgency. Sony isn’t some mortal enemy, with Microsoft just waiting for a moment to go in for the kill. But they get the benefit of the doubt where Xbox doesn’t. If that is ever going to change, 2021 and beyond need to be out of this world.