That would have been the darkest timeline.
Microsoft’s $7.5 billion purchase of Bethesda’s parent company ZeniMax Media has been one of the largest news stories we’ve seen in this industry for a long time, and the impact of this deal is going to be felt in more ways than one for a long time to come. According to a new report, however, if things had gone a little differently, Bethesda may have ended up in the ownership of another company.
In a report recently published by Bloomberg about this recent acquisition, it was mentioned that ZeniMax had been been in the market for a buyer for some time, and at one point, were close to being purchased by fellow third party publisher Electronic Arts. Reports not too long ago suggested that EA were also interested in purchasing WB Games, so it’s no surprise that they’ve been looking to acquire game companies for some time.
Of course, the question of whether or not consolidation of the industry is healthy in a long-term is a pertinent one regardless of who purchases whom, but I’m sure most would agree that Bethesda being owned by Microsoft is much better than them being owned by EA. With Bethesda’s catalog largely being single player-focused, that probably wouldn’t have been such a happy marriage, if the deal had indeed gone through.
Meanwhile, it doesn’t look like Microsoft are quite done with acquisitions either, in spite of their first party portfolio now comprising a whopping 23 studios. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella recently said that they will consider buying even more companies in the future.