Microsoft Buys Bethesda Softworks For $7.5 billion

In what can only be described as coming right out of the blue, Microsoft has just pulled off a giant coup in the game industry which cannot be underestimated. Bethesda Softworks, a major player in the gaming industry is owned by ZeniMax Media whose stable includes Bethesda (Fallout, The Elder Scrolls), id Software (DOOM, Quake), Arkane Studios (Prey, Dishonored), Machine Games (Wolfenstein), and Tango Gameworks (The Evil Within). This is the biggest ever acquisition by Microsoft and clearly illustrates their commitment to gaming in a massive way, especially with the Xbox Series X due to launch in November– up against the PlayStation 5. Phil Spencer, Xbox head, has also confirmed that Bethesda games and perhaps others within the ZeniMax group will be coming to GamePass which can only be a positive boost for gamers, especially since the cheapest subscription is $5 per month.

Gamers Are Divided Over The News

As one would expect, the Microsoft haters have taken to their keyboards and expressed their disdain for the move in typical dog in the manger style, much like those who refuse to buy from Epic Games (or even to download free AAA games from Epic) because they think shareholder Tencent is spying on them. Yet those same haters run Windows 10 across all their computers in what can only be described as a love-hate relationship. On the other hand, who would have thought that the legendary id Software, makers of the original DOOM, Quake, and Wolfenstein would one day be owned by big, bad Microsoft? Having said that, the ever pragmatic John Carmack, founder of id Software and currently working with Oculus VR, has said that he is in favour of the acquisition and may even ‘re-engage’ with some of his old games. Personally, I see this as a positive move and it isn’t one that Microsoft has taken lightly. After all, $7.5 billion isn’t pocket money and adds to its already impressive stable which includes the Forza racing series, Microsoft Flight Simulator, Halo, Minecraft, and dozens of others.

It’s no coincidence that Microsoft has finally put its games on Steam. They are, after all, in the business of selling games, however, Microsoft’s over-arching anti-piracy measures are quite bizarre in this day and age, and one hopes they are able to address the issue of transferring games from one PC to another without having to download the entire 100GB all over again. But that’s by the by and for now, all I can say is that I’m very optimistic about the announcement, which has to be good for gamers.

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