I’ve had plenty of time to digest the news that Microsoft paid $7.5 billion for Bethesda and… nope, I still don’t get it. The only two games of theirs that sell really big are Fallout and Elder Scrolls and that relies on Todd Howard, who has been a laughing stock for most of this generation. I know Microsoft could now get anyone to make games using those names, but I don’t see that happening.
As much as I like games like Doom and Wolfenstein I can think of dozens of other publishers and developers I would’ve bought first, especially as Bethesda’s speciality in Western role-players is something Microsoft already has covered with Obsidian.
I’ll start with the obvious one first, since it’s also the one everyone talks about and the two companies have always had a close relationship. Obviously Sega aren’t quite what they were when Microsoft started thinking about buying them in the late 90s but their back catalogue of classic games is second only to Nintendo. They haven’t been using them at all lately though, so Microsoft’s inevitably heavy-handed takeover could actually do some good here and force Sega to start making games like they used to.
To be honest, you could say just about any and every Japanese company here and it would be valid. Xbox has always been irrelevant in Japan and I just cannot understand why they didn’t try and buy a single Japanese company. All the ones they bought were either American, Canadian, or British and that seems so short-sighted if they want to stop being seeing as America-centric.
I’m edging back into no-brainer territory here, especially as Microsoft has already said it tried to buy Bungie back but couldn’t work out a deal. That only means one thing: not offering enough money, which seems silly given what a major coup getting Bungie would be and how much they’d help out with the whole Halo problem. I’m still willing to bet they will buy them at some point, but it would’ve made a lot more sense to be sooner rather than later.
This is even stranger than Bungie, considering their asking price can’t have been anywhere near as much. The best Xbox One exclusives this generation, strangely, has been Ori And The Blind Forest and its sequel and yet apparently Moon are moving on from the series and there’s no plans for a third one. How did Microsoft let that one slip through their fingers, considering some of the no-name developers they did buy?
I realise that just buying a studio means nothing if all the top people then leave but apparently that hasn’t been a problem for Bethesda. So, in my opinion, Microsoft should have made the same effort with these other companies that would’ve been much more useful to them.
Bethesda Softworks, Fallout
World news – GB – 5 companies Xbox should’ve bought rather than Bethesda – Reader’s Feature – Wonderfully Curated News