Xbox Will Continue to Look at Acquiring More Studios, Says Microsoft CEO

Xbox Will Continue to Look at Acquiring More Studios, Says Microsoft CEO - News

by William D'Angelo , posted on 01 October 2020 / 2,701 Views

In case you haven't heard one of the biggest gaming acquisitions in history occurred today. Microsoft has acquired Bethesda Softworks parent company ZeniMax Media for $7.5 billion. Xbox Game Studios has growm from 15 to 23 studios. 

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella in an interview with CNET discussed the Bethesda acquisition and said that the company will continue to look at acquiring more developers to join Xbox Game Studios where it makes sense to do.

"We'll always look for places where there is that commonality of purpose, mission and culture," Nadella said. "We will always look to grow inorganically where it makes sense."

Head of Xbox Phil Spencer added on the Bethesda acquisition, "This is a huge investment in games that they're going to get to play." 

The plan is to let Bethesda run independently as they have their own culture. "It is about the culture of those teams," Spencer said. "They're not about becoming us."

Microsoft will launch the Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S worldwide on November 10. The two consoles became available earlier today for pre-order.


A life-long and avid gamer, William D'Angelo was first introduced to VGChartz in 2007. After years of supporting the site, he was brought on in 2010 as a junior analyst, working his way up to lead analyst in 2012. He has expanded his involvement in the gaming community by producing content on his own YouTube channel and Twitch channel dedicated to gaming Let's Plays and tutorials. You can contact the author at wdangelo@vgchartz.com or on Twitter @TrunksWD.


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66 Comments

TheLegendaryBigBoss (on 22 September 2020)

Sony can't compete with Microsoft on acquisitions. They are on another level. Also this makes gamepass better!


method114 (on 22 September 2020)

Nope there is no way Sony can compete with this. Whether this is a winning strategy or not is yet to be seen.


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KratosLives (on 23 September 2020)

How does it make gamepass compelling?? Don't you have to pay monthly for games?


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Mr Puggsly (on 23 September 2020)

@Kratos - Ideally more notable content for a low monthly price.


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DonFerrari (on 23 September 2020)

With PS revenue they could have made this purchase, but probably didn't saw similar acquisition making sense on their business plan since Sony prioritizes single platform and sales of the SW and they would take a very long time for the ROI to even break even on a 7.5B on Zenimax launching games only on PS5.


  • +1
ArchangelMadzz (on 23 September 2020)

@DonFerarri yeah there's no way they could justify this purchase. This cost them the *revenue* of 15m XSX's. Gamepass definitely loses MS money at least right now, and they lose money on each Console sale which is normal. The ROI time for this will be a long time and Sony just can't justify that for them unlike Microsoft who are well... Microsoft.


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DonFerrari (on 23 September 2020)

Microsoft can keep it multiplatform and also use it to increase their GP subs which they intend to be very platform agnostic. Sony would more likely keep it single platform so perhaps wouldn't work.


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KratosLives (on 24 September 2020)

Can i join at any time, say when an exclusive comes out, pay $15, play it, finish the exclusive, cancel membership and repeat? I hear you can join and cancel at anytime, so what would stop people exploiting this and just paying to play for a game everytime there is a big release? Or do they expect most people to stay connected monthly?


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DonFerrari (on 24 September 2020)

You can, but they expect people to not do it.
And in my case I wouldn't even do it for every big game when they release. I would probably look for like 4 games available and play all of them.


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ArchangelMadzz (on 24 September 2020)

That's the strategy I would use. Pay for when you want to play a game or games. Try get through them in a month or 2 then cancel until the next big release comes many months after.


  • +1
DonFerrari (on 24 September 2020)

Perhaps one or two of those games I`ll like enough to buy for collection couple years later when they are very cheap.


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ice (on 22 September 2020)

M$ Emphasis on the $


Trentonater (on 22 September 2020)

If it's a problem when Disney does then it's a problem when Microsoft does it. Corporate consolidation is never a good thing.


Mr Puggsly (on 22 September 2020)

I actually don't care. Disney is just a bunch of garbage entertainment. I am more concerned when monopolies in social platforms work together and silence certain voices. This is exists to control what we think and know.

Videogames are not really important. Playstation will still get thousands of games even if Bethesda games become exclusive.


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DonFerrari (on 23 September 2020)

Agree with Pug, videogames is far from a monopoly even on HW, much less on SW. I don't like the purchase because it may make it harder for PS5 domination, but still videogame isn't really essential nor at risk of monopoly. Social Media talking space is very near monopoly though.


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Mr Puggsly (on 22 September 2020)

They need some Japanese companies. Maybe Sega and Capcom. That would also give them an amazing collection of classic games.


Signalstar (on 22 September 2020)

They actually have a Japanese developer now through the Zenimax purchase. The developers that made The Evil Within Games. I think its long overdue that Xbox acquired a Japanese studio.


  • +6
DonFerrari (on 23 September 2020)

Yes they do need one to have a bigger portfolio. With Sega though perhaps they could have a big paycheck to make all dreamcast and prior games be fully emulated with enhancement to offer on GP and of course sold for some bucks on their store.


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Rafie (on 23 September 2020)

I don't see Sega selling to Microsoft. That would give them Atlus and such. So Persona, Bayonetta, etc would all be MS. Nah.... Capcom won't do it either. Their games make too much money on the rival's console.


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SanAndreasX (on 23 September 2020)

FUCK NO. Microsoft does not need to be buying any Japanese studios. Japan has made it more than clear that Microsoft isn't wanted there, and the Xbox userbaee does not buy Japanese games.


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chakkra (on 22 September 2020)

Man... 2020 is not going to end that bad after all.


Chazore (on 22 September 2020)

I'm just gonna sit back and watch the ongoing fireworks, for when MS announces their purchase of Sega or Konami. Hell I'm sure them buying SE will cause some mini riots, which would fizzle out within a week. Like I said in a previous thread. The bed has been made, time to sleep in it.


EspadaGrim (on 22 September 2020)

Them buying Capcom would cause bigger meltdowns, Sony very likely to get more aggressive in acquiring more timed exclusive deals and possibly adding Kojima Productions, Bluepoint and Housemarque.


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Chazore (on 23 September 2020)

The problem with them trying these smaller deals, just means MS will get more cutthroat. They would be smart to just roll with the connections they already have, and play out their image of first party quality titles. MS has stopped playing games now for 7 years, and I don't think doing more timed deals is going to do much against MS at this point. Not sure about Kojima though. I think that guy wants to be on his own, but will gladly work with others.


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Mystro-Sama (on 22 September 2020)

Am I the only one that has a problem with this? Buying out small studios is ok but when you buy out a massive publisher with dozens of IPs with a third party history behind them then we have issues.


Bandorr (on 22 September 2020)

Indeed. The medium was a game that couldn't be made without funding. Funding it is a good thing. Buying studios that have no money problem, are not niche, and put games on every system - is aggressive.


  • +2
Mr Puggsly (on 22 September 2020)

Maybe I am just saying this because I am getting old... But video games aren't that important and competing platforms will still have countless options.

Also, MS actually porta to more devices than other 1st party companies. So people will certainly access Bethesda games on Xbox, Windows and Cloud.


  • +5
chakkra (on 22 September 2020)

Since I will have access to all of those games for A LOT less money, I gotta say that no, I do not have a problem with it whatsoever.


  • +6
method114 (on 23 September 2020)

If I didn't have access to the games then I would but that's the way it is. I hated not having access to so many of Sony's titles so I went ahead and got a PS4. That's the way it works. Get a PC and you'll be fine.


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V-r0cK (on 22 September 2020)

This is how im seeing the situation now: MS few yrs ago "we're going to draft up our own team of rookie(ish) developers"....MS now "screw it instead we're just going to buy up all-star players like Michael Jordan!".... just a little humor watching NBA playoffs and beer...good ol beer mmmm


Tridrakious (on 22 September 2020)

Well when you can't make 'em or beat 'em, buy 'em!


Mr Puggsly (on 22 September 2020)

Well MS's goal seems to be growing all their platforms. Xbox, cloud and Windows gaming. They don't have to beat Sony to grow.


  • +1
LivingMetal (on 22 September 2020)

When money stifles creativity and innovation.


Mr Puggsly (on 23 September 2020)

People don't just want creativity and innovation per se. I mean many top selling games are long running IPs that aren't exactly reinventing the wheel. Its a big deal if MS can say they have the next Elder Scrolls, Fallout or Doom exclusively. That's a big part of this investment.

Furthermore, with these new studios perhaps they could do something interesting with existing MS IPs. I've said many times more studios need to work on Halo games or help improve them. Perhaps one of these new studios with a history of working on FPS games can do that.


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KratosLives (on 24 September 2020)

I hear microsoft won't be publishing the bethesda games, does that mean those games won't be coming day 1 to game pass?


Mr Puggsly (on 24 September 2020)

MS already said Bethesda titles are coming to Gamepass day one. Also, The Outer Worlds was published by a 3rd party but still added to Gamepass.


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hiccupthehuman (on 23 September 2020)

As crazy and exciting it was to wake up to the news of Xbox buying Bethesda, I hope they stick to studios and not publishers from now on. If they buy Asobo for their Microsoft Flight Simulator work for example, I'd be happy with it. Even as an Xbox fan, I'd be uneasy if they bought any more major publishers like say Capcom.


SanAndreasX (on 23 September 2020)

Sounds like we need another United States v. Microsoft Corporation.


Stellar_Fungk (on 23 September 2020)

Damn, MS slow down. I'm still in shock mode from the Bethesda news.


DonFerrari (on 23 September 2020)

We know it.


AFattyGamer (on 23 September 2020)

Microsoft has the.budget. They can flex on Somy and Nintendo :)


hunter_alien (on 23 September 2020)

The plan is to let Bethesda run independently as they have their own culture. "It is about the culture of those teams," Spencer said. "They're not about becoming us." Yeah sure, that's what MS is known for. Not getting involved in the companies they buy. I told everyone that this won't end well. MS is going for a monopolistic position and gaming will suffer in the long run.


Mr Puggsly (on 23 September 2020)

I feel studios are left alone as long as they do a good job. Also, if its about a monopoly MS needs to buy many more studios. There are several bigger than Bethesda and its unlikely they will buy something bigger.


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DonFerrari (on 23 September 2020)

MS will hardly make a monopoly. There are really plenty of studios, Sony and Nintendo aren't poor and they could have gone for Zenimax or similar if it made sense for their business model.


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hunter_alien (on 23 September 2020)

Well, they clearly show their intention to purchase more. So it's obvious that Zenimax is only one step. What's next? EA? Square? Capcom? You name it, they can afford it, and in a couple of years, MS might have dozens of studios under their belt and dictate the industry towards the saas future that they imagine.


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LudicrousSpeed (on 23 September 2020)

LOL the games as a service future THEY imagine? Try the GaaS future everyone imagines. Even Sony has plenty going on in the GaaS area. Wait until you see the new Factions MP. They'll also have MLB on multiple platforms selling Stubs micro transactions. Don't forget Gran Turismo Sport, etc.


  • -1
Azzanation (on 23 September 2020)

Microsoft, the Bruce Wayne of gaming. People forget Sony kept Spiderman off other platforms so these buyouts dont feel bad anymore.


Rafie (on 23 September 2020)

You know. At times I try to see your viewpoint, but you definitely seem to have something against Sony/PlayStation. Why would PlayStation pay for development for the competition?! You wanted the Spiderman game on Xbox One and Switch?! It was Marvel that went to Sony with this, remember? Sony only owns the film rights to Spidey and nothing else.


  • +1
Azzanation (on 23 September 2020)

Weather you agree or not, i am stating for those who dislike these buyouts that these things happen all the time. Spiderman on PS4 could have been a timed exclusive. Also Insomica wasnt owned by Sony at the time. It only got worse when they announced Marvel Avengers Spiderman permanent DLC exclusive. Like you mention, Spiderman isn't owned by Sony which is why it makes it worse. Use their own characters if they want to do that, like add Kratos in the game, that is perfectly acceptable by the industry, don't dumb down other versions of the game. These moves are probably what presses companies like MS's buttons. Hence big buy outs.


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Spade (on 22 September 2020)

Pretty sad that MS has to continue to buy talent instead of making it themselves.


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V-r0cK (on 22 September 2020)

I was thinking the same thing


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DroidKnight (on 22 September 2020)

Having the talent to recognize talent, and then purchase the aforementioned talent with money acquired through talent requires talent...and balls.


  • +13
Mr Puggsly (on 22 September 2020)

Sony buys Insomniac: Wow, that's a talented studio Sony bought!
MS buys Bethesda: Go make your own talent!


  • +13
LivncA_Dis3 (on 22 September 2020)

Sony already has a a lot of talent,
and insomniac makin a lot of ps exclusives for sony feels right that they belong to sony now,


  • -2
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Chazore (on 22 September 2020)

What about the multiple times Sony bought out studios?.

Are we just going to pretend they grew studios right out of their ass now?. Come on people.


  • +9
Trentonater (on 23 September 2020)

Pretty much every developr that sony has acquired was a developer where they had a longstanding relationship on developing first-party titles in the first place. They aren't randomly going around buy chunks of the industry and competing publishers.


  • 0
Libara (on 23 September 2020)

Completely agree, Phil is embodient of evil! MS should make games exclusive to Sony, and for free too.


  • +1
shikamaru317 (on 23 September 2020)

@Trentonator MS had past relationships with most of the studios they have acquired the last few years, these aren't just random purchases. Double Fine released multiple timed and full Xbox exclusives in the past like Iron Brigade, Happy Action Theater, and Massive Chalice. Playground has been fully Xbox exclusive since they opened in 2010. Undead Labs has been fully Xbox exclusive since they opened in 2009. Ninja Theory's first game ever was the Xbox exclusive Kung Fu Chaos. Obsidian released the Xbox console exclusive KOTOR 2. Bethesda released TES 3 Morrowind as an Xbox console exclusive and TES 4 Oblivion as a timed Xbox 360 exclusive. id released Doom 3 as an Xbox console exclusive. Arkane released Arx Fatalis and Dark Messiah of Might and Magic as Xbox console exclusives. Roundhouse was founded by veterans of Human Head, who worked on Xbox 2 Xbox console exclusives in the past, the original Prey and Dead Man's Hand. The only studios that MS has acquired recently that they had no past relationship with were inXile, Compulsion, Tango, Machine, and ZeniMax Online Studios, and 3 of those came in a package deal with studios they have worked with in the past.


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SanAndreasX (on 23 September 2020)

Microsoft's M.O. They have always been rich, talentless hacks. And they run most of what they buy into the ground.


  • +1
coolbeans (on 22 September 2020)

Catch your breath, will ya?


yvanjean (on 22 September 2020)

Time to acquire more smaller studios like Moon studios and such for delivering games in between big AAA releases.


shikamaru317 (on 22 September 2020)

They actually already have several A and AA studios for smaller releases. Compulsion, Double Fine, inXile's New Orleans studio, Obsidians' AA Team, Undead Labs, Ninja Theory has several AA teams. I guess one or two more wouldn't hurt though.


  • +7
Rafie (on 23 September 2020)

They should definitely get Moon Studios. That's a no brainer.


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