Microsoft is hard at work behind the curtains for its upcoming console generation. Not only did they work on multiple hardware offerings with the Xbox Series X/S but also features like Smart Delivery. We now have some idea of the Xbox Game Pass future. Microsoft spent the past couple of years or so in acquiring various game studios. After the recent acquisition of Bethesda games, it is clear that Microsoft will push more of their exclusive content from these studios.
The recent acquisition of Bethesda games made a lot of users think about future releases from the studio. One of the main questions here is that will they continue to support other platforms or will it just make them another exclusive company. Interestingly, there are a few factors that come in play behind this decision however it is pretty clear that it will just be an exclusive company now.
Tom Warren explained the matter pretty clearly. Part of Microsoft’s strategy of acquiring various game studios is an expansion in exclusives. Although Microsoft produces some of the famous exclusive games in the market PlayStation had better offerings in the past. As is turns out Microsoft already had a strategy to counter that by buying more studios. This brings us to the point that although some of the studious like Bethesda did make games for other consoles in the past we will not see them making any in the future.
lots of debate around whether Microsoft will make Bethesda games exclusive in the future. Of course they will. Not every single one, but exclusive content is exactly what Disney, Netflix, and others rely on to attract subscribers. Xbox Game Pass will be the same.
— Tom Warren (@tomwarren) September 27, 2020
Of course, they will not completely shut off other platforms from all of the releases. However, we do believe that from now on these studious will develop games for Microsoft’s platforms (Xbox And PC) first.
The Financial Aspect:
Another interesting fact that points towards Microsoft limiting game platforms from these studios are their financial investments. Take even Bethesda games for example had Microsoft not bought this game studio. the would have still made it to the Xbox. The studio could also come on Game Pass from day one. However, Microsoft did things differently they spent seven and a half billion dollars just to buy this studio. This huge amount of investment shows that the company has some future plans ready.
Twitter user Johan libert put forth an interesting theory in this concern. Taking a look at Microsoft’s financial situation it is clear that the amount of 7.5 billion dollars is merely a small investment for them which they might have already made back. Instead of directly competing with their rival Play Station on game pass deals and sales Microsoft is working on expanding their ecosystem even more.
I’m certain most future Bethesda titles will be Xbox exclusive, here’s why: $7.5B is almost nothing to MS, their profits for 2019 were $43B. $7.5B is a mere %17.4 of that, by the time this deal finishes (2021), MS makes that back already, see $10.7B in Q1 2020 (1/7) pic.twitter.com/kekE5QpkXy
— Johan libert (@akahmiii) September 25, 2020
By getting more games as an exclusive on their console Microsoft will give incentive to more and more users to make a choice in their favor. This might not happen all of a sudden and Microsoft might still support other platforms. However eventually when the time comes Microsoft will close off the gates.
Lastly, if Microsoft only wanted sales for their Game Pass they could have done things differently without spending the massive 7.5B$ . The only thing that remains to be tested is how far will Microsoft go in this regard.
The Past Statements:
In addition to financial aspects leading to this outcome. Aaron Greenberg, the Head of Marketing for Xbox confirmed this about a year ago. When asked about the new studio acquisitions he said that “We more than doubled our studios over the past year, and as these new studios are transitioning, some of them had existing arrangements to publish games across multiple devices, but going forward these new studios will focus on making games for our platforms and we have no plans to further expand our exclusive first-party games to other consoles”.
When he was further asked on the previous obligations of these games studios. He said that he thinks these are are over. According to Greenberg while they will primarily focus on developing games for the Xbox whenever a developer has an idea for a cross-play game that they can build Xbox will support it. The studios will and can work on games for other platforms and Microsoft does not plan on changing that.
Lastly, Greenberg answered the question of acquisitions in an interesting way. When asked about any more future acquisition plans he said that Microsoft is about done on this side. They have enough upcoming content and resources to build and support a diverse Xbox community. Whatever step Microsoft takes in terms of their newer game studios will surely change the gaming industry dynamics. We just have to wait long enough to see who that favors.