Bethesda Says It Is "Giving Up Very Little" Due To Microsoft Acquisition

The biggest news of the year so far is probably the Microsoft acquisition of ZeniMax Media, the holding company that contains Bethesda Game Studios among several others. For the low price of $7.5 billion, Microsoft acquired all of those studios, and since Obsidian had long-since joined Microsoft Studios, suddenly the prospect of a Fallout: New Vegas 2 didn’t seem like so much of a pipe dream.

In an interview with GamesIndustry.biz ahead of the Develop:Brighton 2020 conference next week, Bethesda head Todd Howard told the publication that he didn’t think the Microsoft purchase was such a big deal, at least initially.

“I grossly underestimated the impact in the larger gaming community,” said Howard. “I was naively surprised at how big it landed and what it meant in the larger context of games, but I was happy with the feedback we saw. A lot of people saw it as a big positive thing, the same way we do.”

It was such a big move that PlayStation fans thought that Sony should buy Konami in a sort of tit-for-tat corporate move, but thankfully that didn’t happen. It would have felt forced, unlike how Microsoft acquired Bethesda after a years-long partnership.

Howard said that Bethesda was “giving up very little” due to the acquisition, with Microsoft mostly staying hands-off when it comes to managing their affiliated studios.

“[Microsoft is] very creator-driven, we’re still going to get to be who we are. We’re a subsidiary, but we’re still running our games and pushing everything the way that we have.”

One thing that really stood out from the interview is that Bethesda still seems very interested in the mobile market. But rather than focusing on strictly mobile titles, it seems like Howards has his sights set on integrating with Microsoft’s xCloud streaming service.

“We felt very strongly about their view of access; games for everybody that we can bring to anybody regardless of where they are, what devices they’re playing on. We’re very, very passionate about that, and at the end of the day we’re convinced we’ll make better products and get them to more people easily by being part of Xbox as opposed to being just a third party.”

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