Bethesda founder concludes “what Microsoft owns, Sony cannot get”

September 28, 2020
Bethesda Microsoft bethesda founder Christopher Weaver acquisition ZeniMax Media id Tech

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Bethesda founder Christopher Weaver has weighed in on his thoughts regarding the recent acquisition of Bethesda Softworks parent company ZeniMax Media

Weaver, the original founder of ZeniMax Media, left the company back in 2002 but remained the company’s largest shareholder for years after. Following the company’s $7.5 billion acquisition, the founder shared his thoughts in an interview with Inverse.

Weaver described the deal as “extremely interesting”, explaining that he believes the conjoining of companies to be a “good prospective marriage” for the two brands.

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“Microsoft deepens their bench instantly with one of the most experienced companies in entertainment software (during a time when video game sales are at an all-time high), and Bethesda gets the benefit of concentrating their creative firepower on software that feeds the Microsoft pipelines,” Weaver explained. “A good prospective marriage of interests with a large domestic public partner.”

“There are only a limited number of proven creators of AAA. What Microsoft owns, Sony cannot get. There are many economies of scale that consolidation between the right partners has the capacity to provide, but the ultimate test will be evidenced by the quality of products produced over time.”

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Microsoft revealed the news of their Bethesda acquisition just one day before pre-orders of the Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S opened.

Weaver’s thoughts echo those of Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella who explained that Xbox is not done acquiring new studios to bolster its lineup of Xbox Game Pass games. While Microsoft has started to build and expand new studios like The Initiative, the Microsoft CEO has explained how hard it is to do so.

Weaver explains that the acquisition of Bethesda is reminiscent of Xbox’s acquisition of original Halo developer Bungie back before the launch of the original Xbox, arguably the only reason Xbox remained relevant well into the Xbox 360 days.

“The acquisition of Bungie acted as an important trigger for the success of the early Xbox. Depending upon how soon Bethesda can prime the Microsoft pipeline, I suspect Microsoft is looking at their playbook and looking to repeat one of its ‘best moves’,” Weaver explained.

“If the strategy works, it will be a brilliant counter-move against Sony. Users from around the world will be the ultimate beneficiaries of this deal. I wish them well.”

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With all Bethesda games coming Day One to Xbox’s video game subscription service Xbox Game Pass, it’s clear that Microsoft is playing a completely different game to what they were playing in 2001.

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