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News Xbox's Ben Decker says they will address exclusivity of Zenimax titles after acquisition but their goal is to get more people into Xbox community

Bernkastel

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This is an interview with Ben Decker(Head of Gaming Services at Xbox) on a Russian site few days back but was missed by a lot of people.
In September 2020, Microsoft announced one of the largest acquisitions in the history of the video games industry on the purchase of ZeniMax Media. Microsoft said they were buying the parent company that owns Bethesda Softworks, developers of game franchises like The Elder Scrolls and Fallout, for $7.5 bln. This could result in Bethesda becoming an exclusive first-party developer for Microsoft and its Xbox console. TASS asked Ben Decker for clarification.

“We have agreed to a purchase price with ZeniMax. ZeniMax is not owned by Xbox or Microsoft currently. We’re still working through the completely standard - happens every time for an acquisition of this size - regulatory bodies, working through all the details, making sure that everything is by the book and meets whatever rules individual parties have. What happens after that point, I’m not going to comment on that, because we’re going to have to wait for the actual transaction to be done. What I will say is what Phil [Spencer, Microsoft’s executive VP of Gaming – TASS] said - that we will make this decision on a case by case basis, but what I will say is: look, our goal is to get as many people into the Xbox community, to get as many people playing our games as possible, that’s what’s going to guide us.”
 

NewYork214

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I honestly don't care at this point. I have a gaming pc so either way I will be playing the games that I want to play. And honestly this opens up the opportunity for other developers, Sony included, to innovate. And fill the spot this would leave open for most likely the bigger console market.
 

kyussman

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Hopefully they will do GamePass day one and still release on PlayStation later...at least that way I won't need to shell out for a second console....If all those Bethesda games do go Xbox exclusive there is enough value there for me to justify the purchse of an Xbox at least.....obviously I'd rather not though given outside of all the big Bethesda franchises I've not much interest in Xbox exclusives,although hopefully they will improve with that next gen.
I'll be playing multiplats on PS5 too....so if I do get an XSX it will probably end up being my Bethesda box,lol.
 
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Bonfires Down

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Well people won’t join the Xbox community if they can simply play Bethesda games on the PS5.

But then right after he says that he wants as many people playing their games as possible. By that logic the games should be on PS5 so he hasn’t really said anything that makes sense.
 
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draliko

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Hopefully they will do GamePass day one and still release on PlayStation later...at least that way I won't need to shell out for a second console....If all those Bethesda games do go Xbox exclusive there is enough value there for me to justify the purchse of an Xbox at least.....obviously I'd rather not though given outside of all the big Bethesda franchises I've not much interest in Xbox exclusives,although hopefully they will improve with that next gen.
I'll be playing multiplats on PS5 too....so if I do get an XSX it will probably end up being my Bethesda box,lol.
i actually believe this is the strategy :) to buy a second console, otherwise i see no value in the buyout, i mean they want to move boxes, otherwise they'd gone 3rd party long time ago
 
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The_Mike

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i actually believe this is the strategy :) to buy a second console, otherwise i see no value in the buyout, i mean they want to move boxes, otherwise they'd gone 3rd party long time ago

PS players used the argument they can't ignore that many million users so of course they will release it there.

Which, as you pointed out, would make no sense. Microsoft will never, ever earn those 7.5 billions back again, and it was purchased to have big exclusives.

If it was the case then we would see halo and Forza on ps5 already.

And if Microsoft cant miss the PS player base, then how come ps can ignore the biggest market of them all - pc?
 
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kyussman

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i actually believe this is the strategy :) to buy a second console, otherwise i see no value in the buyout, i mean they want to move boxes, otherwise they'd gone 3rd party long time ago
Yea,I mean I've not had an interest in Xbox exclusives really before so I've not owned their consoles....but add the likes of Wolfenstein,Dishonored etc to your portfolio and that's reason enough for me to get the hardware....and then I'll probably end up trying some more games anyway.I don't know how many people like me there are but the Zenimax aquisition was a sure fire way to get a purchase of your console from me if you make the games exclusive....still not going to bother with GamePass though I'm afaid Phil...I want to own my games,lol.
 

Andodalf

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PS players used the argument they can't ignore that many million users so of course they will release it there.

Which, as you pointed out, would make no sense. Microsoft will never, ever earn those 7.5 billions back again, and it was purchased to have big exclusives.

If it was the case then we would see halo and Forza on ps5 already.

And of Microsoft cant miss the PS player base, then how come ps can ignore the biggest market of them all - pc?


The 7.5 billion “lost” thing is people not understanding business.

If you spend 7.5 billion to get a company worth 7.5 billion, you have lost 0$

You have a bit less cash on hand, but MS doesn’t have a problem getting more crash on hand. As long as Zenimax retains its value, every dollar earned from it is profit.
 

Tripolygon

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Just say the bloody games are exclusive and move on. They own those studios and games so it is ok.
 

Clear

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Sorry, but I cannot see any reason why MS couldn't issue a clear statement of intent as to what operations will change/stay the same after acquisition.

Whether this changes, based on what the terms of sale are, or due to regulatory bodies requirements, whatever is a different matter. They could and should be more direct (if not transparent due to business complexity) about this.
 

JLB

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Sorry, but I cannot see any reason why MS couldn't issue a clear statement of intent as to what operations will change/stay the same after acquisition.

Whether this changes, based on what the terms of sale are, or due to regulatory bodies requirements, whatever is a different matter. They could and should be more direct (if not transparent due to business complexity) about this.

Legal issues. They need to wait for acquisition to be completed.
 

Mmnow

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PS players used the argument they can't ignore that many million users so of course they will release it there.

Which, as you pointed out, would make no sense. Microsoft will never, ever earn those 7.5 billions back again, and it was purchased to have big exclusives.

If it was the case then we would see halo and Forza on ps5 already.

And of Microsoft cant miss the PS player base, then how come ps can ignore the biggest market of them all - pc?
I agree with you, I just want to correct one minor thing. Not because I want to correct you, but because it's a talking point I see a lot and this is a good opportunity to say it.

Microsoft don't have to earn the $7.5b back, although they will given time. How long? 20 years? 10 years? If you believe some of the Gamepass maths on here, it could be even sooner. Who knows? It doesn't matter.

All Microsoft have to do is earn more each year from Bethesda than the interest on that $7.5b is earning them by having it sat in a bank account.

So, the simple question is this: does having Bethesda increase the attractiveness of Gamepass enough to cover that money? Does putting it on Steam and Xbox cover the interest they'd earn on $7.5b?

The answer is definitely a yes. Microsoft only need to make, let's say, $150m a year extra for Xbox to make this purchase make sense, and only if it fails to make that much will the definite need to release on PlayStation start to form.

Skyrim, for context, made $450m in its first week.

There's a great post on Reddit about this that's well worth reading:

 
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CRAIG667

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It's almost like they can't say anything before the acquisition goes through so they've been vague on purpose.

It's against the law to make tactical plans before the acquisition is finalised.

I'm sure they have already thought about it but to state plans publically would be an error and would jeopardize the whole deal.
 
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Tripolygon

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They dont because the acquisition is still going on. Phil said it will finish sometime in early 2021.
The deal is going through. Its not a particularly large buy compared to other deals this year.

I just specifically hate all these "our goal is to get more people into Xbox community" "our aim is for the games to play first or best on xbox" "we don't need the game to be on other platforms for the deal to be profitable" but we are not saying it is going to be exclusive........ Lol

I don't know if that makes sense.
 
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Yea,I mean I've not had an interest in Xbox exclusives really before so I've not owned their consoles....but add the likes of Wolfenstein,Dishonored etc to your portfolio and that's reason enough for me to get the hardware....and then I'll probably end up trying some more games anyway.I don't know how many people like me there are but the Zenimax aquisition was a sure fire way to get a purchase of your console from me if you make the games exclusive....still not going to bother with GamePass though I'm afaid Phil...I want to own my games,lol.
What stops you from owning games you want and trying games you are not sure about. Gamepass gives you access to many games you probably wouldn't buy. Then after trying and enjoying it you can buy it at a discounted price. Gamepass does nothing but save you money. Especially in this $70 game world
 

Kimahri

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Do we need a thread every time someone at MS says something about Zenimax?

MS is buying Zenimax, that should tell you all you need to know. Unless they come out and explicitly state otherwise, assume every single game bar pre existing contracts will be exclusive.
 

The_Mike

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Do we need a thread every time someone at MS says something about Zenimax?

MS is buying Zenimax, that should tell you all you need to know. Unless they come out and explicitly state otherwise, assume every single game bar pre existing contracts will be exclusive.

Well, seeing ten threads popped out every time he said ssd then I see no harm in these threads.
 
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kyussman

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What stops you from owning games you want and trying games you are not sure about. Gamepass gives you access to many games you probably wouldn't buy. Then after trying and enjoying it you can buy it at a discounted price. Gamepass does nothing but save you money. Especially in this $70 game world
I'm at an age and have been gaming long enough to know what I do and don't like...GamePass is a great service no doubt...but it's not for me at all.
 
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Desudzer10

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It'd be funny to see it stay exclusive on Xbox, but i can see it being timed exclusive for a year. Which won't be too bad because by that time you can get the GOTY edition with all the DLC and patch fixes for the same price or cheaper.
 
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Eternal21

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If those PS5 to Xbox 3:1 sales projections are correct, there's no way these won't end up on PS5.
 

Abriael_GN

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Yanno what would be good? If people stopped posting "news" about this when the "news" is simply a no comment haha.

I don't know how many ya'll need to tell you that they're not ready to give a final answer before ya'll understand that they aren't.
 

quest

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Do we need a thread every time someone at MS says something about Zenimax?

MS is buying Zenimax, that should tell you all you need to know. Unless they come out and explicitly state otherwise, assume every single game bar pre existing contracts will be exclusive.
Exactly you don't buy a publisher who is not making money to continue the same business model. They are in this to get more gamepass subscriptions. The only way to do that is full exclusives and get people to buy xboxes. A timed exclusive does not move gamepass subscriptions at all. It sells a few copies at the cost of more development time and a worse looking game.
 
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The Shepard

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Bethesda have not made a game I've liked since skyrim in 2011 so it's no big loss in all honesty if there xbox /pc exclusive, them and bioware went to shit last gen compared to previous gens. I'd take sony's exclusives over Bethesda's any day of the week. And yes, i own a series x so no playstation bias.
 
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I can see some IPs like the Elder Scrolls online and Fallout 76 like going multiplatform but the main ones staying on the Xbox ecosystem. I honestly don't understand why people here insist that they will appear on PS5. MS knows that these games will sell consoles and GamePass subscriptions.
 

quest

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I can see some IPs like the Elder Scrolls online and Fallout 76 like going multiplatform but the main ones staying on the Xbox ecosystem. I honestly don't understand why people here insist that they will appear on PS5. MS knows that these games will sell consoles and GamePass subscriptions.
It is the entitlement of some fan boys. It usually is the so called master race and port begging. Now that Microsoft will have some games with while it is the justified port begging.
 

Hudo

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Some Sonys are still drinking it.
 

Clear

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Exactly you don't buy a publisher who is not making money to continue the same business model. They are in this to get more gamepass subscriptions. The only way to do that is full exclusives and get people to buy xboxes. A timed exclusive does not move gamepass subscriptions at all. It sells a few copies at the cost of more development time and a worse looking game.

They don't need people to buy more Xboxes though, they just need more Gamepass subscribers. Which isn't the same thing at all.

The big appeal of buying Bethesda is their value in the PC space, not their console operations.

The reality is that the PC market is far larger and more lucrative; making gains in that space is simply better for business than trying to fight Sony and Nintendo on their own turf.

The unified GDK approach is a dead giveaway, especially as strengthening their PC operations will also act as a bulwark against Google, Amazon and other big players looking to enter the competition without creating their own console ecosystems. just service platforms.
 

Abriael_GN

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Exactly you don't buy a publisher who is not making money to continue the same business model. They are in this to get more gamepass subscriptions. The only way to do that is full exclusives and get people to buy xboxes. A timed exclusive does not move gamepass subscriptions at all. It sells a few copies at the cost of more development time and a worse looking game.

While I don't have any firm belief one way or another and I'm not really invested in this (The haphazard way they're responding multiple different things show they don't really know well themselves and I'm a PC gamer primarily, so I get the games regardless), this is simply silly.

ANY game on game pass helps sell game pass. It's added value for the customer at the same price.

Timed exclusives would help sell game pass as much as they help sell consoles. And they do, otherwise, first parties wouldn't bother spending money on timed exclusives.
 
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Bernd Lauert

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Gamepass subscription isnt paying for all those studio projects lol.

Didn’t Aaron come out and say its not making much profit atm. Let alone pay for those expensive Bethesda projects....


Congratulations, you have now heard of the concept of loss leading.
 

EverydayBeast

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Microsoft’s greatest assets are Xbox Live and just applying adaptations to gaming like Halo being the lighting rod, Gears being the special third person shooter SONY doesn’t have, anytime you have a big deal like buying Fallout and Elder Scrolls it could be hard to beat especially if those sequels turn out good and it could humble SONY.
 

Kokoloko85

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Congratulations, you have now heard of the concept of loss leading.

Yeah keep telling yourself that Lol.
Is that what you tell yourself to help you sleep?

Its called its not gonna work either way.
Its a sure way of studios closing or having to decrease the amount they put into there projects.
 
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