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Will Microsoft's acquisition of Bethesda encourage a change in Todd Howard and his company's recent behavior?

Conor McKenna, Blogger

September 22, 2020

2 Min Read

Do you remember the 21st night of September?  …when Microsoft announced they had bought ZeniMax Media, parent company to the once golden Bethesda Studios.  Alright, that second line isn't as catchy, but the 7.5 billion dollar acquisition brings up some important questions surrounding the two companies' relationship and future release expectations.

This acquisition has been called as either a strategic "Megaton" move or a sacrifice of the independence of multiple studios in favor of an immense mega-corporation.  Whatever your stance, let's hope its a good thing for Bethesda's upcoming releases because, their latest major game "release" was Fallout 76, a game of constant controversies.

In October of 2018, Bethesda insulted fans and consumers with the release of Fallout 76, a game drenched with bugs, so much so that it was simply an unfinished title.  See this video here for a detailed overview of the game's release.  When I think of Bethesda, the first thing that comes to mind is... well, Skyrim, but the second is the mishandled money grab that was the rushed and unacceptable release of Fallout 76.

So, with Microsoft be able to step in and initiate some quality control?  Microsoft has been taking more pro-consumer stances, with the release of Gamepass, ideals on exclusivity, and backing games as a service.  And 7.5 billion is a lot, hopefully, enough to satiate the demonstrated money lust the company had shown in its most pathetic release.  As we have seen with acquiring Obsidian Entertainment, Microsoft conveyed that they were "empowering the studio to maintain its independent, creative culture."  But does this apply to Bethesda?  If so, where is the line between maintaining independence and stepping in to implement pro-consumer practices?

I want to be able to trust Bethesda again, and I hope that Microsoft will help steer the once beloved company back in the right direction, but when it comes to multi-billion dollar corporations, you should never trust their intentions.

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