Yesterday's news of Microsoft purchasing ZeniMax Media, the parent company of Bethesda, was massive. Despite a $7.5 billion price tag, it sounds like Microsoft's CEO won't be holding off on more purchases down the road.
In an interview with CNET, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella says the company will consider buying even more video game companies in the future. It will also continue to invest in Xbox Game Pass, its subscription service which Bethesda's games are slotted to join in the future.
"You can't wake up one day and say, 'Let me build a game studio,'" Nadella told CNET. "The idea of having content is so we can reach larger communities."
Since 2014, Nadella and Microsoft have built up a legion of studios under the Xbox Game Studios brand. Starting with Mojang in 2014, the acquisitions started in earnest during the Xbox One era. Studios like Ninja Theory, Obsidian, and Double Fine built up a notable first-party backing, and now, Bethesda's many studios are under the same umbrella. Spencer also assured CNET that Bethesda will run semi-independently. "It is about the culture of those teams," Spencer says. "They're not about becoming us."
While speculation about a possible Fallout: New Vegas 2 has run rampant, there's also some odd wrinkles to iron out in the Xbox-Bethesda merger, particularly the matter of timed console exclusives. Following some clarification, however, it doesn't sound like much is changing there. Arkane's Deathloop and Tango Gameworks' Ghostwire: Tokyo are both still timed PlayStation 5 console exclusives.
It's a strange world that two of Sony's timed exclusives for the PS5 could have Microsoft on the label, but then again, it's been a weird year. Microsoft seems content to sell its games and, judging by Nadella's comment, looking toward more ways it can spread its reach. For more on how this affects the industry and Microsoft moving forward, listen to a special emergency episode of Axe of the Blood God about what the deal means.