Microsoft Finalises Bethesda Acquisition And Stacks Game Pass
Here’s To The Journey
After months of crossing T’s and dotting I’s, Microsoft’s $7.5 billion (!!!) acquisition of Zenimax – Bethesda’s parent company – is finally complete, with some of the biggest studios in gaming now falling under the Xbox umbrella. Aside from Bethesda, the powerhouse studio behind the Elder Scrolls and Fallout franchises, the move will bring id Software, ZeniMax Online Studios, Arkane, MachineGames, Tango Gameworks, Alpha Dog, and Roundhouse Studios into the Xbox family. It is believed these studios will now be housed in a new wholly-owned subsidiary of Microsoft called ‘Vault’.
Regarding future console-exclusivity from these studios, Head of Xbox Phil Spencer has confirmed that “gamers should know that Xbox consoles, PC, and Game Pass will be the best place to experience new Bethesda games, including some new titles in the future that will be exclusive to Xbox and PC players”. While that statement isn’t completely ruling out the possibility of *some* new Bethesda titles being cross-platform, it is hard to imagine Microsoft is keen to let the other kids play with its $7.5 billion new toy. Although a tough break for Sony fans, Spencer has confirmed that Bethesda games currently on other platforms will still be supported in the future. “There’re contractual obligations that we’re going to see through, as we always do in every one of these instances,” says Spencer. “We have games that exist on other platforms, and we’re gonna go support those games on the platforms they’re on. There are communities of players and we love those communities and we’ll continue to invest in them.”
As a taste of what’s to come, Microsoft has been quick to add a stack of the biggest Bethesda titles to Xbox Game Pass, allowing fans to play some of the biggest games of all time, with some even getting an FPS boost on Xbox Series X/S. On top of that, several of these games will be playable not only on console but PC and mobile devices via the cloud.
The list of games is outlined below, as per Xbox Wire
This complete compilation includes Dishonored, winner of over 100 Game of Year awards, as well as all of its additional content – Dunwall City Trials, The Knife of Dunwall, The Brigmore Witches and Void Walker’s Arsenal.
Dishonored 2 (Console, PC, Cloud)
Reprise your role as a supernatural assassin in Dishonored 2 – the next chapter in the award-winning saga by Arkane Studios. Play your way in a world where mysticism and industry collide. How will you combine your character’s unique set of powers, weapons and gadgets to eliminate your enemies?
DOOM (1993) (Console, PC, Cloud)
DOOM introduced millions of gamers to the fast-paced, white-knuckle, demon-slaying action the franchise is known for. Relive the birth of the first-person shooter and experience the demon-blasting fun that popularized the genre. DOOM includes Episode IV: Thy Flesh Consumed, with 9 additional action-packed levels and split-screen 4-player deathmatch and co-op.
DOOM II (Console, PC, Cloud)
Bring your trusty Super Shotgun and an arsenal of classic DOOM weapons to bear against deadlier demons and the infamous boss, the Icon of Sin. DOOM II includes The Master Levels for DOOM II with 20 additional levels, as well as split-screen 4 player co-op and multiplayer.
DOOM 3 (Console, PC, Cloud)
Battle your way through a demon-infested facility before entering the abyss to battle Hell’s mightiest warrior – and put an end to the invasion. DOOM3 includes both campaign expansions – Resurrection of Evil and The Lost Mission.
DOOM 64 (Console, PC, Cloud)
Battle armies of demons in your crusade to hunt down the Mother Demon and stop Hell’s invasion. As you fight through more than 30 action-packed levels, be on the lookout for enhanced weapons and secrets to help you put an end to the demonic threat.
DOOM Eternal (Console, PC, Cloud)
Hell’s armies have invaded Earth. Become the Slayer in an epic single-player campaign to conquer demons across dimensions and stop the final destruction of humanity. Experience the ultimate combination of speed and power in DOOM Eternal – the next leap in push-forward, first-person combat. The only thing they fear… is you.
The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind (Console, PC)
An epic, open-ended single-player RPG, Morrowind allows you to play any kind of character imaginable. You can choose to follow the main storyline and find the source of the evil blight that plagues the land, or set off on your own to explore strange locations and develop your character.
The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion (Console, PC)
Step inside the most richly detailed and vibrant game-world ever created. With a powerful combination of freeform gameplay and unprecedented graphics, you can unravel the main quest at your own pace or explore the vast world and find your own challenges.
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Special Edition (Console, PC, Cloud)
Winner of more than 200 Game of the Year Awards, the Skyrim Special Edition includes the game and add-ons with all-new features like remastered art and effects, volumetric god rays, dynamic depth of field, and more. Also bring the power of mods to consoles. New quests, environments, characters, dialogue, armor, weapons and more – with Mods, there are no limits to what you can experience.
The Elder Scrolls Online (Cloud, Console)
Experience the award-winning story in a persistent Elder Scrolls world. Embark on an adventure that lets you play your way, go anywhere at any level. Battle, craft, steal, siege, explore and more.
The Evil Within (Console, PC, Cloud)
Experience a disturbing reality as you try to break free from warped machinations. With limited resources at your disposal, you’ll fight for survival and experience profound fear in this perfect blend of horror and action. Defeat insurmountable terror and experience the ultimate thrill by discovering The Evil Within.
Fallout 4 (Console, PC, Cloud)
As the sole survivor of Vault 111, you enter a world destroyed by nuclear war. Every second is a fight for survival, and every choice is yours. Only you can rebuild and determine the fate of the Wasteland. Welcome home.
Fallout 76 (Console, PC, Cloud)
Steel Dawn is the first chapter in the new Brotherhood of Steel questline, free for Fallout 76 players. Visit settlements populated with new NPCs and unlock powerful weapons and armor from the Brotherhood arsenal. Join in their mission to rebuild society and aid in securing valuable technology.
Fallout: New Vegas (Console)
Welcome to New Vegas. It’s the kind of town where you dig your own grave prior to being shot in the head… and that’s before things really get ugly. It’s a town of dreamers and desperados being torn apart by warring factions vying for complete control of this desert oasis.
Prey (Console, PC, Cloud)
Good morning, Morgan. Prey joins the Xbox Game Pass library tomorrow, taking you from the comfort of your home to the treacherous depths of space. As Morgan Yu, you’ll have to use your wits, weapons and strange powers to fight the alien threat that has overtaken the Talos I space station. Explore the station, upgrade your skills and abilities, and uncover the secrets of Talos I and the dangers within.
RAGE 2 (Console, PC, Cloud)
Dive headfirst into a dystopian world devoid of society, law, and order. Rage 2 brings together two studio powerhouses – Avalanche Studios, masters of open world insanity, and id Software, creators of the first-person shooter – to deliver a carnival of carnage where you can go anywhere, shoot anything, and explode everything.
Wolfenstein: The New Order (Console, PC, Cloud)
Wolfenstein sends players across Europe on a personal mission to bring down the fascist war machine. With the help of a small group of resistance fighters, infiltrate their most heavily guarded facilities, battle high-tech legions, and take control of super-weapons that have conquered the earth – and beyond.
Wolfenstein: The Old Blood (Console, PC, Cloud)
The year is 1946 and the Nazis are on the brink of winning World War II. In an effort to turn the tide in the allies’ favor, B.J. Blazkowicz must embark on an epic, two-part mission deep within Bavaria…
Wolfenstein: Youngblood (Console, PC, Cloud)
Set 19 years after the events of Wolfenstein II, BJ Blazkowicz’s twin daughters, Jess and Soph Blazkowicz — after years of training from their battle-hardened father — are forced into action. Team up with a friend to level up, explore, and complete missions to unlock abilities that compliment your playstyle.
While news of the upcoming exclusivity is a blow for gamers on other platforms, it is damn good business from Microsoft, who really needed to pull off something big to catch up with Sony’s accelerating Playstation 5 sales. It also solidified the absolute value that is Game Pass, strengthening the idea that Xbox Game Pass is the future of Xbox, not the physical consoles. With rumours swirling of a possible new Sony studio acquisition to be announced in the next few months, we may be entering into a gaming arms-race, the likes we haven’t seen for some time.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have some Oblivion to play.