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Xbox Bethesda Deal The Good and Bad

Xbox Bethesda Deal The Good and Bad

The recent announcement that Bethesda would be acquired by Microsoft was surprising for many gamers. Obviously one of the first and primary concerns was what this would mean for other platforms since Bethesda would now be a first-party developer for the XBOX Platform. In 2015 Phil Spencer said the long-term strategy for Microsoft was not third-party exclusives after the criticism was voiced by the gaming public about the timed exclusivity for Tomb Raider. Some things are staying the same, but it’s very likely some big news is heading to Playstation owners in the future.

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What is staying the same?

Assurances have already been made about existing contracts and games on current platforms. A quick snapshot was given on twitter after the roundtable. Contracts on current Bethesda games will be honored – Games already released on other platforms will continue to supported (think ESO) – This Bethesda deal is about exclusive content for Xbox

This is obviously comforting to exist Playstation console owners who enjoy these titles or who may have been considering picking them up. Leading with this is obviously a primary concern for Bethesda given their long-standing history in the gaming industry.

The logical step in thought here isn’t that hard to track. What does this mean for future titles? Many of the biggest titles in gaming history are looking forward to long-awaited sequels, most notably The Elder Scrolls 6.

What is changing?

Phil Spencer made it very clear that the future would see some if not most of the Bethesda titles existing only in the Microsoft ecosystem. They are only committing to honoring existing contracts with respect to current and future Bethesda titles.

This could likely mean that The Elder Scrolls 6, a long-awaited title, will be a Microsoft platform exclusive. Since Phil Spencer and Microsoft have given no assurances about that title or any other large titles on the horizon, Playstation owners are right to be worried.

Changes like this are not something fans of video games can anticipate. When you buy a console, in that moment, third-party developers with trailers or announcements, it’s a safe assumption that your brand new console will be receiving that title. This could be the beginning of a strange time for console gamers.

Good or Bad for Gamers?

There are a few different ways to look at this. First and foremost, many of the gut reactions in the gaming world are to recoil at exclusives because it simply limits the potential audience who can enjoy a great video game. First-party exclusives make sense, to a degree, but buying big developers sort of changes the landscape.

Some say that this breeds competition and that first-party titles tend to be of a very high caliber because, by their nature, they have to be. While I see this angle, it puts many consumers in a position of needing to buy literally every available console, especially if most developers go through acquisition.

At the end of the day, developers work hard to make great games, and that requires a lot of money, and Microsoft and Sony are in a position to potentially buy up and provide a lot of that money. The other side of this catch 22 coin is that will always end up limiting the platform a great game can be enjoyed on.

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