4) Because for Sony Bethesda is massively overpriced at 7.5B. They bought Insomniac for 200M and they're going to have 2 20M+ selling games, and 2 10M+ games. MS overpayed for Bethesda because they desperately needed bigger IPs to compete with Sony. The reason MS can't get AAA big third party exclusives is because Playstation owns like 70% of console software sales. No company is going to easily cut 70% of their console userbase for money. Its also why Sony can get Japanese exclusives so easily, JP pubs are only missing 10-15% of sales. Sony absolutely could win a bid because MS might not value the get as much as Sony. Its also about how much value the acquisition brings.
Microsoft didn't "only" buy Bethesda. They bought the entire conglomerate known as "Zenimax".
* Arkane Studios.
- Arx Fatalis.
* Alpha Dog Games.
* Bethesda Softworks.
* Bethesda Game Studios Rockville.
- Fallout 3.
- Fallout 4.
* Bethesda Game Studios Austin. (Battlecry Studios)
- Co-Developed Doom 2016.
- Fallout 76.
* Bethesda Game Studios Dallas.
- Co-developed Rage.
- Assisting with Starfield.
- Lots of mobile.
* Bethesda Game Studios Montreal.
* iD Software.
* iD Software Texas.
- Commander Keen.
* iD Software Frankfurt.
* Machine Games.
* Tango Gameworks.
- The Evil Within.
- Ghostwire Tokyo.
* Roundhouse Studios. (Prior Human Head Studios.)
* Zenimax Online Studios.
- Elder Scrolls Online.
- Fallout 76.
12 Studios/developers in total.
But then add on technologies such as the Creation Engine, iD Tech which will also augment Azure Gamestack... And apparantly holds a heap of VR patents... (As per the Oculus lawsuit) And will assist in pushing gamepass as Elder Scrolls Online is one of the largest MMO's ironically... And Doom, Quake, Elder Scrolls, Fallout are some of the biggest NAMES in gaming... I think it is safe to say they got a good deal...
Comparatively, Mojang was 2.5~ Billion.
Sometimes the name and the technology holds more value than anything else, I.P can influence things greatly.
Microsoft also spent more than 7.5~ Billion. The total bill was about 8.1~ Billion.
Perhaps the engine and VR tech will come in handy later but atm Bethesda seems overpriced. I would estimate their revenue to be 1-1.5B annual so you're looking at a premium of x5-8. Warner bros pulled in 2B revenue was was seen as overpriced for 4B although that's probably due to their IP still being with Warner.
From a user acquisition point I wonder if it is efficient. Going by games sold in a period (BGS afaik only works on two games at a time)
BGS1: Skyrim - 30M
BGS2: Starfield - ??? Lets say 15M
Doom - 5-6M ?
Arkane, Tango, Machine games < 3M.
60M games sold at 8.1B
Insomniac at $220M will sell 40M (SM 20M, RC 5M, Wolverine 15M) in a similar if not shorter timeframe.
MS needed Bethesda for their big IPs so it makes sense. Was it an efficient user acquisition move? Imo no. I will say it is a lot more efficient than going after a public company that trades stock.