Sure, some people still stuck in the console warrior days will gnash their teeth, but lets face facts here: Outside of DOOM, Bethesda has been in a downward spiral. I can’t really blame the development teams, because it’s painfully obvious the problem has been management. Time, budgetary constraints, and trend chasing from upper management has been choking the life out of iconic franchises like Fallout, Wolfenstein, and running Skyrim into the dirt. Is this really the leadership anyone wants making the big decisions on The Elder Scrolls VI?
Microsoft spent $7.5B to acquire Zenimax because they’re playing the long game, it’s an investment for the future, not something they expect to have an immediate impact. First party quality is what you can finally expect from the bug-masters of Bethesda. Microsoft is going to give developers the time and blank checks they need to make their new games into the AAA killer apps they used to be. Additionally, they’ll be optimized for a primary platform, instead of trying to balance multiple builds.
Hopefully it works, because this is the kind of big move Microsoft needed to make to put Xbox back into competition with Sony. Gamers benefit when competition is high. The XB1 stumbled out of the gate and the Wii U was a disaster, allowing Sony to take a dominant position in the world of gaming. And what happens when there’s no longer competition? Gamers get the shaft. Sony blocked crossplay because it would help the competition, killed any hope of backwards compatibility or carry over of digital purchases, and are hiking prices up. Nintendo has now found their stride with the Nintendo Switch and are back on top in terms of sales, but they found their own non-competitive niche. Xbox has to find its stride and light a fire under Sony’s ass, or Sony’s practices will only get worse. Sony is in the position Xbox was in during the lead up to the start of the last generation: The overconfidence of those on top.
Fans of Zenimax owned franchises will get better quality games. Xbox will finally expand their first party lineup. Sony will be forced to sweeten their deals to make more appeals to gamers that could be swayed by moves like this. Nintendo fans, don’t f*cking care about any of this and will probably get ports of some smaller MS owned Zenimax games anyway. Everyone wins!