Microsoft Have Bought Bethesda – Will This Mean Major Titles Become Xbox Exclusive?
To say it has been a tumultuous twelve months for the gaming world would represent an understatement. News coverage pertaining to the gaming industry is stronger than ever before, with highs, lows, and middling moments saturating our airwaves almost every day for the past year.
Of course, one of the driving forces behind this heightened phenomenon is the ongoing console wars between Microsoft and Sony, which are just now beginning to burn out in a way that is pretty anticlimactic, given how much hype surrounded the releases of the Series X and PlayStation 5 this time last year.
Still, the competition remains intense between the two console giants, as Microsoft has recently announced its decision to buy out Triple-A game developer, Bethesda, which is most well-known for its Fallout and Skyrim franchises.
With this latest news on our radars, then, is it time to envisage a future in which Bethesda’s seminal titles are made exclusive to Xbox? Read more below.
Exclusivity is a Complex Beast
While the gaming industry has always represented an incredibly competitive arena – one where the pinnacle of technological innovation and human creativity come together to create some of the most influential and defining pieces of the 21st century. It is natural that rival companies will do whatever they can to attract the spotlight away from one another, and hold tight to those titles that catapulted them to fame in the first place.
Of course, it then stands to reason that one of the best ways for gaming producers to achieve this is via exclusivity and effectively closing the gates on the potential for cross-platform development. In some instances, differentiating oneself from the pack pays off beautifully. The online gaming site GGPoker is a prime example of this, whereby one of its most popular titles, GGPoker Flip & Go, represents an unrivaled selling point for prospective members, and one of the driving forces behind the site’s indomitable success.
There is, of course, an exemption. For other areas, a glaring issue opens up.
According to theory, gamers will then flock to one console over the other in the knowledge that it is the only way for them to gain access to the most anticipated titles. In many cases, however, an excess of exclusivity means that players are forced into taking sides – thus severely limiting the scope for developers to sell their wares. If, for instance, both PlayStation and Xbox were to claim exclusivity on a long list of titles, the only tangible result is likely to be diminishing sales on both sides as players’ options dwindle down to those titles available on their console.
The reason behind this is simple: many players simply do not have the funds or inclination to invest in two separate pieces of expensive and bulky hardware. The only other option is to invest in a gaming PC, which circumvents the issue of exclusivity somewhat, but that entails lost sales for consoles in the long run.
Is Xbox Making Any Titles Exclusive?
Unfortunately for PlayStation users, it looks to be the case that Microsoft will close the gates on Bethesda’s long-running titles, and make them Xbox exclusive.
This news has not yet been confirmed by anyone at Microsoft, but a widely-reported interview that took place in October strongly suggested that Microsoft intended to pursue exclusivity – although it is unlikely this news will ever be given in a dedicated announcement.
For those with skin in the game – i.e., PlayStation users – all that is left to do is to wait for the release of subsequent titles, and hope (against the odds) that they will not be tethered too tightly to Microsoft.