“The key point is we’re still Bethesda,” says Bethesda’s VP of PR and marketing.
Microsoft recently dropped the megaton announcement that they’re purchasing ZeniMax Media, the parent company of Bethesda, in a deal for $7.5 billion. With this single purchase, they’ve added eight studios to their Xbox Game Studios lineup, and added franchises like The Elder Scrolls, Fallout, DOOM, Wolfenstein, Dishonored, Prey, The Evil Within, and more to their first party portfolio.
But what exactly does this mean for Bethesda? In an update published on the company’s website, VP of PR and marketing Pete Hines gibes assurances that in spite of the acquisition, it’s going to be business as usual for Bethesda as far as their development philosophies are concerned- to the extent that Bethesda’s games will continue to be published under the Bethesda label, not the Microsoft label.
“The key point is we’re still Bethesda,” Hines writes. “We’re still working on the same games we were yesterday, made by the same studios we’ve worked with for years, and those games will be published by us.”
So why did they choose to be purchased by Microsoft? Hines says that it was because they feel Microsoft will be “incredible” partners for them and will allow them to become better publishers and developers.
“It allows us to make even better games going forward,” he writes. “Microsoft is an incredible partner and offers access to resources that will make us a better publisher and developer. We believe that means better games for you to play. Simply put – we believe that change is an important part of getting better. We believe in pushing ourselves to be better. To innovate. To grow.”
“Yes, it’s a big change for us, but after taking a minute to absorb the magnitude of this acquisition, we’re going to continue doing what we know and love: making great games,” Hines adds. “We’re going to keep trying new things. We’re going to take the same passion we’ve poured into what we do, and the passion that our community brings to the things we make, and do even better.”
As one of the biggest third party multiplatform publishers in the industry with some major franchises under its belt, the question of exclusivity is a pertinent one here. That’s not something Hines, Xbox boss Phil Spencer, or any of the people involved have gone into, but one has to wonder whether Bethesda will be allowed to publish its games on PlayStation and Nintendo going forward. That was something that Microsoft saw fit with Minecraft, for instance, so it isn’t outside the realm of possibility.
Nonetheless, it’s a historic development, to say the very, very least. I’m sure everyone is curious to see where things go from here for Microsoft, Bethesda, and really, the industry as a whole.