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Microsoft now owns Bethesda

  • Mr.
    • 763 posts
    September 21, 2020 6:41 PM EDT

    Hello. I believe most of you probably know by now that Microsoft bought Bethesda. The first 35 seconds of this video is how you should feel about it:

    Now that that's out of the way, let's talk about what this means, how you feel about it, what you expect, what you fear... Anything you want to. What do you think about it? 


    [Edit: don't forget.]

    This post was edited by Mr. at September 21, 2020 10:14 PM EDT
  • Mr.
    • 763 posts
    September 21, 2020 7:06 PM EDT

    So, I'll get this out of my way:

    Now that I've thought about it, and right now, without seeing and playing Avowed, I don't want Obsidian to make 'New Vegas 2' or even another Fallout. 


    Because most of the big writers and people behind New Vegas have left, and only Sawyer remains. In my experience, the last Obsidian RPG that had really great writing, characters and world-building was Pillars of Eternity 1. I'm not sure if they would be up to the task of making a sequel to what is, in my opinion, one of the greatest RPGs of all time.

    "But what about PoE2 and The Outer Worlds?", you might ask. Well, I never played POE2, so I can't really claim it's bad. However, the reason I never played it was because its premise and world never really caught my attention, so much so that not even the prospect of another Obsidian RPG made me want to buy it. Regardless, it is rather well known that it didn't do nearly as well as the first game, and the writing, from the bits I've seen, seems inferior.

    As for The Outer Worlds, it has a terrific concept and potential as a franchise, and I think in world and spirit it's better than FO4, mostly because it was designed primarily as an RPG, while FO4 decided to give up some RPG/Fallout fundamentals. However, if I take my Obsidian fanboy hat off, it really isn't as great in the writing department as the Obsidian of old. None of its companions are really as memorable as, say, Durance from PoE, or Boone and Raul from New Vegas, and the main story and themes are kind of a given once you see any trailer - it really doesn't go in different directions than what they set out for it (If your character good, then corporations bad, money bad - even if the outcome of going against corps might be bad, it's only because of a twist of luck, because fundamentally, they're all bad). It just doubles down and goes deeper on their story premise.

    On the other hand, Obsidian isn't the only studio under Microsoft that has a Fallout history. inXile Entertainment just released a terrific post-apocalypse game (bugs aside) in Wasteland 3, and unlike modern Obsidian, I think at the end of the day, comparing both of these developers' recent track-record, I have more faith in inXile and the team behind Wasteland 3, so much so that I would rather see a collaboration between Bethesda and inXile than Bethesda and 2020 Obsidian. 

    This post was edited by Mr. at September 21, 2020 7:07 PM EDT
    • 295 posts
    September 22, 2020 3:54 PM EDT

    I'll say what I've said in Discord channels. I think nothing will really change for past releases, because to change that model would be extremely stupid and ultimately Microsoft has to run a business. Alienating their audience by being an asshole troll and taking away people's fun is just bad business. Besides, going back and suddenly undoing all that is just freaking extra work. What company wants to invest the time or money to do that? Or take the risk? 

    That being said, future releases are up in the air and I think Zenimax has been grooming itself to be sold for some time now, so I'm honestly not surprised by the purchase. Zenimax has been treating their company like how I treated my family's house when we sold it (fresh coat of paint, professional furniture staging, landscaping) for a while now and possibly rushed Fallout 76's release because of it. Perhaps, I just notice those things. They were showing buyers their potentiality for steady income flow regardless of the release date of games (old games in new platforms, a move to online games, cell phone games, micro transactions, CC club, etc.) People can say until their blue in the face that they don't use these things and that they're morally wrong, a slap in the face to the mod community, yada yada yada, but for every one who says that on Reddit or Discord, there are ten consumers who purchase said things in silence. And ultimately, that's what Microsoft is looking at. It's not every game studio that can boast the enduring popularity of games that are nearly twenty years old at this point (Morrowind), 10 years (Fallout NV), or nearly 10 years (Skyrim) and the loyal fanbase who will purchase future games in those series. Who wouldn't want that stability? If I were a company investing in games, I sure as hell would.

    What I DO think is that Sony better up their game, because I have some doubts that any future FO or ES releases will be coming to that console. Or if they do, Sony will have to pay for the rights, or they won't have mod support, lots of potential issues. Sony already has issues with mod for Fallout and Skyrim, because of the limited assets, so that Zenimax is looking towards Microsoft and ergo Xbox, which don't have said restrictions was a pretty clear indicator for me. I also think that it wouldn't hurt to back up your mod files just in case, though I don't believe they'll go that route, because of what I said above, why piss off your consumer or take the EXTRA time to do that bullshit. Next ES game, on the other hand, yeah, they'll probably be much more controlling with game modifications. CC already has several modders working for them and they're getting paid for it. I think free mods for future games are potentially in trouble, but not paid mods and extending a game's life indefinitely through CC content. Zenimax has already proven they can do that.

    • 136 posts
    September 23, 2020 9:39 AM EDT

    I was surprised at this deal. The rumor mill speculated that all the changes that were taking place was in preparation for either a buy-out or a public option. But I did not see Microsoft sweeping to buy everything. I'm more surprised at the fact that something so monumental was not leaked. Seriously....$7.5 billion.....industry leaks?!?

    There's lots of speculation regarding whether Obsidian will produce a New Vegas 2. Even if they do, which I'm not convinced they will (but kiinda hope they do), we wouldn't see that for quite some time. Avowed and Pillars (plus whatever they have in the hopper) will take most of their time and attention.

    As for exclusivity, we can only speculate. My personal belief is that we will see some some form of exclusivity (timed exclusives or exclusive content for xbox users), but it would not suprise me if Starfield and TES6 were Xbox exclusives. They'll make a bundle on console sales and Games Pass subs. However, I can easily see a timed exclusive where Games Pass people get it on day one and then PS users get it later at full price ($70). Ultimately, I think Microsoft's end-game is Games Pass. 

    This post was edited by The_Lex at September 24, 2020 9:14 AM EDT
    • 33 posts
    September 24, 2020 4:27 PM EDT

    I have mixed feelings about it. If the elder scrolls becomes an xbox exclusive then it would be computer exclusive also.If The Elder Scrolls are not PC exclusive, I will have to end my tes journey with Skyrim as I already have TES III, IV and V.

    • 167 posts
    September 25, 2020 5:35 AM EDT

    That was quite surprising and I also have mixed feelings about it.

    In regards to the content and making of the games I think it will be pretty much the same as it would be before microsoft bought them with a few differences though. That being said I expect every game coming out from them to be heavily catered towards console even more so than before. Take Skyrim for example and its UI that is not a proper UI for PC inventory/magic menu etc in the future we might see more elements in the game that work better for console compared to PC  (see Dark Souls controls for PC). Also some major "streamlining" (one of my most hated words..) and bad writing is something I expect and if we compare Skyrim's storylines to the previous ES games like Morrowind and Oblivion I don't think that the quality of writing is anywhere close to them (see College of Winterhold questline for example) due to the age of targeted audience will be much lower than it was before.

    Now let's head to the important part, Modding. I strongly believe that they will implement creation clubs mumbo-jumbo, live services and all that since the release of the games and there will be a huge amount of micro-transactions for the games. In regards to free modding not sure if it will a positive or negative impact but in general I 'm always expecting the worst possible so that's that.

    In general it's still too early to tell how it will go but I 'm certainly expecting for modding to be affected some way or the other because the potential of $ they could gain from mods is too big to pass up for them, seeing some sort of modpocalypse 2.0 in the future wouldn't be that surprising and I 'm expecting them to put their hand in the modding community some way or the other.

    There is another thing though and that is the budget for the games might become bigger but with bigger budget there will be bigger expectations for income and that is not always good since some bad decisions could be made, who knows.

    This post was edited by Duvain at September 25, 2020 5:40 AM EDT
    • 490 posts
    September 26, 2020 9:41 AM EDT

    Weirdly that this might line up with my plans for any next console. After years of dealing with silly business with PS4 modding stuff (which I guess was foreshadowed somehow with PS3 having DLC release issues, etc) I want to change back over to xbox. Might even go PC...

    But either way I don't think that anything will change over at Bethesda. I mean they are the successful game makers who we all wait for to release shit way too late so if Microsoft is smart they won't mess with that. I don't have any fears other than the games being delayed in some fashion but I don't even know a situation in which that would be a reality.

    • 558 posts
    September 30, 2020 5:05 PM EDT
    My PS4 just broke (hard drive problems, and I'd rather save my money at this point than buy a new one), but my XBox 360 is still working fine. Bethesda getting bought by Microsoft is just another reason to go XBox this generation.

    I don't think Microsoft would keep Bethesda games off of other consoles. They want to make as much money on their games as possible, and every Starfield and ES6 copy bought on PS5 is money in Microsoft's pocket. Timed exclusivity makes more sense IMO.

    I'm not worried at all that Microsoft would tamper with the games. They are a much better parent company than Zenimax, so I expect an increase in the quality of the games from Bethesda Game Studios.

    I've basically lost faith in Sony at this point. They let go more studios than they acquired. The Demon's Souls remake looks cool, but I am honestly over those games now. Side point: the PS5 design looks just as prone to overheating as the PS4, while the XBox Series X looks like it was designed to never have overheating issues. Aesthetics vs practicality.

    Since Microsoft is pushing Game Pass so hard, I could see new Bethesda games launching first on Game Pass, like a week or two before you could buy the game (and the PS4 copy like a month later). That would be crazy, but I can see that happening.
    • 1467 posts
    October 8, 2020 12:50 AM EDT

    I think I'm going to have to wait and see, but honestly to me as long as they don't release Starfield or TES 6 as an exclusve I'm not sure I care that much. Bethesda and Microsoft have always clearly had a very close relationship, from early DLC to the consistant shitty releases that Sony is forced to deal with (I wouldn't at all be surprised if Sony's problem with modding was at least partially linked to Bethesda barely trying with Playstation releases of their games. Both Oblivion and Skyrim were treated better on Xbox and PC than they ever were on PS and it really showed). To me it would be stupid to release their flagships as exclusives but I can basically guarentee that you'll be getting them in Game Pass and they will never appear on...what's Sony' version called again? Whatever it is, the point is you'll always be paying full price on launch if your a Playstation gamer and might even have to deal with delayed releases. My gut also says that we'll be getting shittier versions of the games as we have for years, but I could be wrong. It's possible that Bethesda's typical laziness with bug fixes is going to be somewhat reduced by most likely having larger teams and a larger bugdet. I don't know if Microsoft is really going to intefere with Bethesda, but if they do it is possible that higher quality release are a focus (I doubt it, seems like all games are buggier these days).


    So, modding is definitely a concern. I think the issue is going to be whether Bethesda can convince more modders to join the Creation Club and actually start releasing higher quality content. Not to discredit the good work people have already done for it, but the lack of deep quest mods, new gameplay features (that even come close to what other modders do), new locations and even the lazy way most of the weapons or new spells were implemented just doesn't stand out to me as enough to justify shutting down what must be a highly profitable modding community for Bethesda. Sure they don't make money off the mods, but they certainly sell more games by allowing people to mod them. So yeah, to me if they can even get one group of modders to create something on the level of Beyond Skyrim: Bruma or Ordinator for Creation Club I think that would indicate the possibility of it being a replacement option but until then it'd be stupid of them. Of course it could happen, wouldn't even be surprised if they just gave us CC but I hope they don't. 


    Does anyone have any thoughts about ESO taking a new direction? It's hard to grasp sometimes but Zenimax was bought not just Bethesda so it could be really fascinating to see if they're going to be making any large changes to ESO or just improving the overall quality of the game even more. Just thought that would also be an interesting topic.