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Forums - Gaming Discussion - Opinion: Microsoft's acquisition of Bethesda and Activision do not benefit Xbox owners.

FattyDingDong said:

This is a very controversial topic. So I must clarify that this is just my opinion and you are welcome to disagree. As an Xbox owner I do not believe that these acquisitions have or will benefit Xbox owners at all. Let me explain why, Bethesda and Activision games would have still released on the Xbox regardless. The only difference is now it will (potentially) NOT release on the Sony platforms. And I understand the logic behind this from a business' perspective, it will definitely help Microsoft out. But my problem with the whole thing is, how will gamers benefit.  Sony is definitely guilty of this too, they secured Street Fighter and Final Fantasy remake for the Sony platforms. However, one must point out that they have organically created new IPs from their first party studios , games such as Last of Us, Uncharted, God of War, Spider Man, Ghost of Tsushima.   Microsoft has not done so since the Xbox 360 days.  My fear is that this policy of just acquiring existing IPs is going to be the norm for them, this will discourage any creativity or desire to start new IPs. 

I have tried to make this argument on Twitter and Reddit, but people have labeled me as a "salty" Sony fanboy. Even respected journalists are enthusiastic over these acquisitions.  I personally do not care for Sony or Microsoft, I just want new ideas and new games because that in the end is what's good for all gaming. 

And here I was thinking that Microsoft funded and published Sea of Thieves, Grounded, Ori, As Dusk Falls, Tell me Why, Ryse, Quantum Break, ReCore, and Sunset Overdrive; and it will soon publish Pentiment, Everwild, Contraband and Avowed. Silly me, seeing these investments the only logical conclusion is that Microsoft is not interested in new IPs.

And I can totally see your concerns about creativity, I mean, look at how similar Pentiment, As Dusk Falls, Gear Tactics and Sea of Thieves all look and play. They are certainly lacking that "3rd Person Action Adventure" flavor that is so synonym of creativity and innovation these days.

Oh, and I'm still trying to figure out how Spiderman is more of a "new IP" than Indiana Jones.



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FattyDingDong said:

This is a very controversial topic. So I must clarify that this is just my opinion and you are welcome to disagree. As an Xbox owner I do not believe that these acquisitions have or will benefit Xbox owners at all. Let me explain why, Bethesda and Activision games would have still released on the Xbox regardless. The only difference is now it will (potentially) NOT release on the Sony platforms. And I understand the logic behind this from a business' perspective, it will definitely help Microsoft out. But my problem with the whole thing is, how will gamers benefit.  Sony is definitely guilty of this too, they secured Street Fighter and Final Fantasy remake for the Sony platforms. However, one must point out that they have organically created new IPs from their first party studios , games such as Last of Us, Uncharted, God of War, Spider Man, Ghost of Tsushima.   Microsoft has not done so since the Xbox 360 days.  My fear is that this policy of just acquiring existing IPs is going to be the norm for them, this will discourage any creativity or desire to start new IPs. 

I have tried to make this argument on Twitter and Reddit, but people have labeled me as a "salty" Sony fanboy. Even respected journalists are enthusiastic over these acquisitions.  I personally do not care for Sony or Microsoft, I just want new ideas and new games because that in the end is what's good for all gaming. 

I missed this section when I wrote my first response. I see no reason to fear that Microsoft won't allow Bethesda and Activision-Blizzard to make new IP if they want to. First, let's look at the first batch of studios that Xbox acquired in 2018 and 2019:

  • Compulsion Games- Currently making a new IP codenamed Project Midnight
  • inXile- Currently making a new IP codenamed Project Cobalt
  • Double Fine- Currently working on a new IP with a currently unknown codename
  • Obsidian- About to release 2 new IP's later this year, Grounded and Pentiment. Another new IP currently in development, Avowed (though it's not an entirely new IP as it is set in the Pillars of Eternity universe)
  • Ninja Theory- Already released one new IP, Bleeding Edge (which sadly flopped), another new IP currently in development called Project Mara

Now Xbox hasn't owned Bethesda long enough to know what new IP's Xbox has greenlit since acquiring them, but we have heard rumors that Tango Gameworks is currently working on multiple new IP's. Arkane is currently working on new IP Redfall, which though it began development before Xbox acquired Bethesda, Xbox didn't cancel it in favor of them working on an established IP like Dishonored. Starfield likewise is a new IP that began development at Bethesda before Xbox acquired them, but Xbox has been very supportive of the IP even though it is holding Bethesda back from working on established and popular IP's Elder Scrolls and Fallout. 

As for Activision-Blizzard, they rarely work on new IP as it is, their last new IP was Overwatch in 2016, though it is currently rumored that Blizzard is working on a new survival IP, and MS is likely to allow them to finish it. The rest of their teams will likely continue to work on existing IP like CoD, Overwatch, WoW, Hearthstone, Diablo, Starcraft, Spyro, and Crash under MS. If anything, things will improve somewhat under MS as we have heard that Xbox plans to remove some of the current CoD support studios from CoD and allow them to make their own games again, so there is a potential of some new IP from some of the current CoD support studios.

Last edited by shikamaru317 - 3 days ago

Considering not a single Activision/Blizzard game was EVER on Game Pass before and now EVERY single Activision/Blizzard game going forward will be on Game Pass day one (plus their full library) is a gigantic benefit for Xbox (and PC) owners.



Barozi said:

Considering not a single Activision/Blizzard game was EVER on Game Pass before and now EVERY single Activision/Blizzard game going forward will be on Game Pass day one (plus their full library) is a gigantic benefit for Xbox (and PC) owners.

Why weren't they on Game Pass prior is the question.

$70 billion is what it takes to get those kind of games on a service like Game Pass?



SKMBlake said:
ConservagameR said:

If Game Pass doesn't take off, then it's only going to be a big benefit to XB owners if those games are all made exclusive, otherwise what was the point?

That's a good point: what would happen if Game Pass never really take off ?

To put stuff in perspective, Disney+ launched in 2019 after Disney buying almost everything entertainment related stuff, to a very cheap price (6,99$ if I recall correctly, now 8,99$ but still cheaper than Netflix). ANd now 3 years later, it sits at 150+ million subscribers despite the launch price being raised by 2$ since.

In comparison, GP launched in 2017, 5 years later we still can find ways to pay it almost nothing (1$ deals, Microsoft Awards stuff, Gold conversion, etc), the subscritpion numbers barely reached 25 million users, below MS's expectations, and yet they still invest a huge amount of money to make it worth it (which it definitly is).

But I am wondering if, after 10 years, with lets say 2000+ games in the service, most of the new releases being available day one, and still having to cope with heavy discounts and figures below 30 million users, would MS decide to take the plug off ?

Hard to say. XB makes MS look less of an evil corporation, while also stopping Sony from potentially working their way into MS sector strongholds.

There's plenty of other things to take into account like some others have mentioned in here.

Another one is what about Sony, or anyone else for that matter, who tries to compete with Activision Blizzard franchises due to fear of exclusivity?

If anyone could come up with something that could consistently rival a COD, etc, even partially, that's going to be a significant blow to XB and their customers. Even worse if others, like Sony, get their hands on those competing franchises.

Or if Sony were to end up with a few hit live service games, especially if one was Fortnite big, and tried to make a deal with MS on Game Pass, where MS didn't benefit as much as usual, and MS refuses. Sony can then use that PR to smear XB and Game Pass, and if those Sony games were hot enough, it would look real bad on MS.

If MS did agree, they're then making much less on those Sony games, and many Game Pass players are likely going to be playing them instead of the $70 billion worth that MS purchased.



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ConservagameR said:
Barozi said:

Considering not a single Activision/Blizzard game was EVER on Game Pass before and now EVERY single Activision/Blizzard game going forward will be on Game Pass day one (plus their full library) is a gigantic benefit for Xbox (and PC) owners.

Why weren't they on Game Pass prior is the question.

$70 billion is what it takes to get those kind of games on a service like Game Pass?

$70bn is what it takes to own

the IPs of CoD, Warcraft, Diablo, Crash, Spyro, Starcraft, Tony Hawk etc.

10,000 experienced employees (mostly developers)

all of their facilities

and all future profits (currently over $2bn a year)

What MS does with it, i.e. putting the games on Game Pass is their business.



Barozi said:
ConservagameR said:

Why weren't they on Game Pass prior is the question.

$70 billion is what it takes to get those kind of games on a service like Game Pass?

$70bn is what it takes to own

the IPs of CoD, Warcraft, Diablo, Crash, Spyro, Starcraft, Tony Hawk etc.

10,000 experienced employees (mostly developers)

all of their facilities

and all future profits (currently over $2bn a year)

What MS does with it, i.e. putting the games on Game Pass is their business.

The point is someone else owned it before MS and apparently they didn't want their games on Game Pass.

If Game Pass was looking to be so profitable, why wouldn't Activision Blizzard have wanted to put their games on there before?

Which all plays into the question of who is this helping if it always would've been so beneficial to have those franchises on Game Pass?



ConservagameR said:
Barozi said:

$70bn is what it takes to own

the IPs of CoD, Warcraft, Diablo, Crash, Spyro, Starcraft, Tony Hawk etc.

10,000 experienced employees (mostly developers)

all of their facilities

and all future profits (currently over $2bn a year)

What MS does with it, i.e. putting the games on Game Pass is their business.

The point is someone else owned it before MS and apparently they didn't want their games on Game Pass.

If Game Pass was looking to be so profitable, why wouldn't Activision Blizzard have wanted to put their games on there before?

Which all plays into the question of who is this helping if it always would've been so beneficial to have those franchises on Game Pass?

That's like asking why X is not on Netflix and Y isn't on Disney+. There can be many reasons.

1. MS and Activision are competitors, even when Activision makes games for the Xbox platform. Their games are competing for the same userbase as MS' own developed games.

2. Maybe Activision planned to create its own subscription service in the future much like EA and Ubisoft did. Having their games on a rival's subscription service would diminsh the value of their own service. There aren't any EA games on Game Pass either. However, EA partnered with MS to get their subscription service on Game Pass, making it only available to GP Ultimate members.

3. They think they make more money with game sales than from microtransactions and DLCs from Game Pass users.

4. They just didn't like the offer MS made.

5. MS never made an offer since their GP budget was already spent elsewhere and they knew they weren't getting CoD for a few million dollars.



VAMatt said:
JWeinCom said:

The point of acquisitions is to benefit your stockholders. Any benefit to your customers is incidental.

While this is strictly correct, I'd say that one of the primary reasons that an acquisition is beneficial to shareholders is because it is beneficial to customers. At the end of the day, every dollar that Microsoft brings in comes because a customer chose to buy from Microsoft. The better the value to a potential customer, the more likely they are to give you their dollars.  

In other words, I'd say that acquisitions, and the vast majority of business decisions, are made with both of these things in mind, because they aren't really competing ends. 

They aren't competing ends, but they're also not the same.

The point you're missing is that value is relative. You can increase revenues by increasing the value of your product. Or you can do so by harming another company's product, or by simply getting rid of a competitor.

I would say that's more often the point of an acquisition. Mergers and acquisitions frequently have incredibly negative impacts on consumers, which is why most countries have rules governing when companies can merge.

In this particular case, I don't really see anything Microsoft customers are getting that they wouldn't have or couldn't have without a merger.

Last edited by JWeinCom - 3 days ago

chakkra said:

And here I was thinking that Microsoft funded and published Sea of Thieves, Grounded, Ori, As Dusk Falls, Tell me Why, Ryse, Quantum Break, ReCore, and Sunset Overdrive; and it will soon publish Pentiment, Everwild, Contraband and Avowed. Silly me, seeing these investments the only logical conclusion is that Microsoft is not interested in new IPs.

And I can totally see your concerns about creativity, I mean, look at how similar Pentiment, As Dusk Falls, Gear Tactics and Sea of Thieves all look and play. They are certainly lacking that "3rd Person Action Adventure" flavor that is so synonym of creativity and innovation these days.

Oh, and I'm still trying to figure out how Spiderman is more of a "new IP" than Indiana Jones.

This is not the compliment you think it is. 

Sony funded The Last of Us, Ghost of Tsushima, Horizon, Bloodborne, Days Gone, and even released the new Spider-Man and God of War games. Nintendo made Pikmin and Splatoon and ARMs. Microsoft hasn't been making new IP at the same level as Sony and Nintendo. 

And as a Sony fan I actually think that Activision being bought by Microsoft is good, actually. As of right now Xbox as a console/brand has no real strong identity aside from the triforce of IP that Microsoft has relied on since 2001 (Halo, Gears, Forza). Their console doesn't have many games to call its own, it has no specific controller functions or gimmicks like VR or portability. It's just a strong console with gamepass. It needs more exclusive games and it needs to have its identity. And that identity is 'Murica. IT's a very western/American centric brand, specializing in shit that's popular in america. You don't see shit like Gravity Rush on there, and a lot of Japanese/International devs put their games on PS/Switch but not Xbox becuase those games just don't sell well on Xbox. 

So, if they have no identity, they need to double down on what they do well. Western games. Shooters and western RPGs, Racing games and other HOO-RAH games like Call of Duty. They need their identity as the best place to play futbol or shoot foreigners. You know, AMERICAN SHIT. 

This sounds like satire, like it's an underhanded compliment, but I actually do mean it. If Xbox can't do international games, has almost no presence in Japan or among gamers who like Japanese games, has no VR, and lacks that versatility of portability like the Switch, it needs something to call its own. ESPECIALLY since all the exclusives it does have are on PC as well. So why not double down on what they do best? 

HAving Call of Duty (Because let's be honest that's like 95% of why people care) exclusive to Xbox strengthens that identity and gives them a better ability to carve out a piece of the pie. Nintendo has families and the Japanese market, Sony has VR and a very balanced worldwide audience, and Xbox can have the college frat boys! 



My Console Library:

PS5, Switch

PS4, PS3, PS2, PS1, WiiU, Wii, GCN, N64 SNES, XBO, 360

3DS, DS, GBA, Vita, PSP, Android

Top 6 this generation: 
Bloodborne, Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, God of War, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Dark Souls III, Red Dead Redemption II, Rock Band 4