'What Microsoft Owns, Sony Cannot Get,' Says Bethesda Founder on Acquisition

'What Microsoft Owns, Sony Cannot Get,' Says Bethesda Founder on Acquisition - News

by William D'Angelo , posted on 01 October 2020 / 3,521 Views

Microsoft last week announced it has acquired Bethesda Softworks parent company ZeniMax Media for $7.5 billion. Xbox Game Studios will grow from 15 to 23 studios.

Bethesda founder Christopher Weaver, who left the company in 2002, in an interview with Inverse discussed the blockbuster acquisition. 

"I do not think it is any accident that this announcement occurred so close to Sony’s PS5 announcement," Weaver about Sony unveiling the launch date and price of the PS5.

"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."

Xbox Bethesda

Weaver was asked what the acquisition means for games that are currently in development like Starfield and The Elder Scrolls VI and he said Microsoft respects Bethesda's history and their ability to produce AAA games.

"My understanding is that Microsoft respects Bethesda’s 34 years of proven ability to produce quality software and has promised to let Bethesda be Bethesda," said Weaver. "Nevertheless, I have yet to meet an executive who does not want to accelerate the sale of a potential product. The trick is to keep those administrators at bay until a product is truly ready for prime time. Bethesda has been producing commercial software for a very long time. I have to believe Microsoft execs will be responsive to Bethesda's input."

The list of developers under the ZeniMax umbrella now part of Xbox Game Studios includes Bethesda Softworks, Bethesda Game Studios, id Software, ZeniMax Online Studios, Arkane, MachineGames, Tango Gameworks, Alpha Dog, and Roundhouse Studios.

The Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S will launch on November 10.


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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44 Comments

TheLegendaryBigBoss (on 28 September 2020)

It's their ip now, they can put it on whatever platform they want.


Otter (on 28 September 2020)

Minecraft Dungeons Released on PS4 May 2020...


sales2099 (on 28 September 2020)

Minecraft is Minecraft. Exception to the rule. Accept it now so you won't be part of the second wave meltdowns


  • +3
Darwinianevolution (on 28 September 2020)

As much as that makes sense, I doubt they will pass up the chance of another Skyrim re-release for the PS5.


Astral (on 28 September 2020)

Well, MS themselves said it is going to be "case-by-case" about Bethesda games being on other consoles. So let's not claim to know something that we don't.


Jranation (on 28 September 2020)

They didnt just hand out 7billion so the main competitor gets the main dish.


Mnementh (on 28 September 2020)

Is their main competitor Sony though? Or going forward Amazon and Google and whoever else enters the streaming market?


  • +3
Bandorr (on 28 September 2020)

How many billions did they spend on Minecraft again?


  • -3
Jranation (on 28 September 2020)

Pretty sure it is still sony. And regarding Minecraft. It took like a year for the Bedrock edition to be released on the PS4. It was on Xbox One/PC first then months later on Switch. Then more more months later on PS4. Same thing can happen here.


  • +1
Bandorr (on 28 September 2020)

And how fast did Minecraft dungeon come out? Oh it was day one.


  • 0
DirtyP2002 (on 28 September 2020)

Games on PS5: - Already announced for PS5 - Free 2 Play / MMOs - DLC for existing games like Doom Eternal. That'll be it. Otherwise, they could have made an EA Play kind of deal. "...as the Xbox community, what they should feel is this is a huge investment in the experiences that they're going to have in the Xbox ecosystem. We want the Xbox ecosystem to be the absolutely best place to play, and we think game availability is absolutely a part of that." Phil Spencer.


KLAMarine (on 28 September 2020)

I'm just glad Sony didn't make this purchase otherwise I don't think Bethesda games would be seeing release to PC in the future.


Bandorr (on 28 September 2020)

Hard to tell on that one. I think they are going toward PC not away. I'd say 50/50?


  • 0
AFattyGamer (on 28 September 2020)

Like Microsoft said ... "case by case" basis. Microsoft has the final says but if its lucrative enough to put a game on Sony's platform, they'll do it. While Microsoft can easily afford it I doubt they like wasting money.


jamesmarkus87 (on 28 September 2020)

Surprise surprise. Microsoft buys Bethesda, and the majority of you are pissed off. Meanwhile, if it were Sony who acquired Bethesda, you guys would have nothing but praise. You would be championing Sony as "marketing geniuses" while suggesting that it's time for Microsoft to put the Xbox brand to sleep and leave the gaming industry forever.


LivingMetal (on 28 September 2020)

I for one would not make that claim because I normally wouldn't, and frankly it just doesn't make any sense without intersecting elements of fantasy. So sure. Make up false narratives to justify yourself. Sadly, I'm not surprised.


  • +7
jamesmarkus87 (on 28 September 2020)

Go ahead and claim that I'm fantasizing and making false narratives. Go ahead and pretend that there isn't a double standard for Xbox and PlayStation on this website. For example, a few weeks ago, Microsoft were constantly being criticized for not yet having a price or release date for their new Xbox consoles, and yet nobody complained that Sony hadn't yet done so either.


  • -2
Immersiveunreality (on 28 September 2020)

Always interesting to see the ones that generalize that quikly , and when the tables turn again another with the same mindset on the other side will comment the same things.


  • +3
xl-klaudkil (on 28 September 2020)

Its more like what sony owns microsoft can never get.


Vendrom (on 28 September 2020)

It's both


  • +3
KratosLives (on 29 September 2020)

By the time these tip bethesda games release, there would have been millions of ps5's sold. I;m sure a lot of those people are fans of either elder scrolls and fallout. How many people would be aware that these games won't be coming to ps5, how many are going to jump ship cause of one or 2 games they want to play. Microsoft will indeed bring these games over, otherwise it's money down the drain.


method114 (on 28 September 2020)

Except minecraft is on PlayStation


Ashadelo (on 28 September 2020)

Next up Sega


EspadaGrim (on 28 September 2020)

Sega is owned by a parent Company so it would be extremely complicated for MS to buy them out, Capcom would actually be more likely because their staff size is in the same range as Zenimax and MS could jut buy them and make them a subsidiary like Zenimax.


  • +5
shikamaru317 (on 28 September 2020)

MS could buy Sega Sammy completely, then split Sega from Sammy, and sell off Sammy to someone else.


  • -1
shikamaru317 (on 28 September 2020)

Or they could make a deal with Sega Sammy to split Sega, with MS getting the Sega IP's and studios, with Sammy keeping their pachinko business as well as getting the rights to continue making Sega branded pachinko machines.


  • 0
snyps (on 28 September 2020)

Why so they can own their ips? Sega can't be trusted with them. Microsoft knows that Sega lost all its muscle.


  • -3
StreaK (on 28 September 2020)

If they get SEGA I'm out, man...I'm quitting modern gaming and gonna stick to the PS1-PS4.


  • +4
StreaK (on 28 September 2020)

I can see Sony getting Capcom. No way a Japanese company would sell off to an American one. No way in hell!
I'm waiting for Sony to fire back and I'm just hoping for Silent Hill and Castlevania to come to PS5. Same with Street Fighter and RE.


  • +4
TheTitaniumNub (on 28 September 2020)

I don't think theyre buying Sega. I wouldn't mind though, I'd personally rather Microsoft buy all these studios than anyone else. Microsoft is guaranteed to release theyre games on Steam, that's what really matters the most to me.


  • +3
zero129 (on 28 September 2020)

MS Buying them Companys doesnt effect half as many people as if Sony did. How is that so hard to see?.


  • +1
LivingMetal (on 28 September 2020)

Well, there goes your competition right there. The Xbox acolytes have preached a hypocritical message of competition all this time. I've mentioned on this site in the past that the dichotomy here is that the competition the acolytes preach is anti-competitive. And I've also mentioned that I've never had a problem with the Xbox line itself. It just would have been better for companies such as Samsung or IBM to be behind it instead of a company who financially muscles its way through instead of providing a product that the people actually want. The end starts now. And I'm not afraid to call it. It's not about the creative medium of gaming anymore. It's about the status of financial domination with the sheep in tow.


Qwark (on 28 September 2020)

Depends what Microsoft will do next. If they want to make game pass the Netflix of gaming, playstation and steam are definitely in the way. It wouldn't surprise me if within ten years games a lot of games are exclusive to Game pass. Microsoft gaming divisiib isn't big enough to pull that of yet. But surely they will make more of these kind of aquisitions to make it so. They will definitely consider Playstation a hinderance and either buy them or force them to become a small Nintendo. By making many former big third party games exclusive to Xbox/PC and later trough game pass. My money is on EA next mainly or Fifa.


  • +9
Imaginedvl (on 28 September 2020)

If you believe it has never been about "financial domination/results", you are really delusional from the start. Sony, Microsoft and even Nintendo have ONE goal: money and shareholder happiness, nothing else. And to achieve that, they have different strategies which may be thinking that spending more time/resources to create a AAA games is better, some others to have some yearly games coming out of a franchises, some others to create some really good IP and milk it (including merchandises) etc.. At the end, it is (and always has been) about financial.


  • +4
KratosLives (on 29 September 2020)

At the end of the day, they'll be lucky to get 1 million playstation switching over to xbox because of either elder scrolls or fallout. Most people know already that sony will have the better exclusives, the more variety and more well recieved. microsoft will have no choice but to release those titles to ps5/. Playstation will always be more dominant.


  • +1
KratosLives (on 29 September 2020)

At the end of the day, they'll be lucky to get 1 million playstation switching over to xbox because of either elder scrolls or fallout. Most people know already that sony will have the better exclusives, the more variety and more well recieved. microsoft will have no choice but to release those titles to ps5/. Playstation will always be more dominant.


  • 0

Comments below voting threshold

LivncA_Dis3 (on 28 September 2020)

so this is how its going to be? buying talent rather than make talent haha!


StreaK (on 28 September 2020)

Pretty much my thoughts exactly. At least with Sony's companies, they were pretty much on Sony's side already from day one. It was natural for them to become Sony exclusive.
This just shows that Microsoft is getting desperate and they definitely want to take Sony's crown away from them. They know Sony is king of gaming because even with MS's cash Sony is the biggest console publisher even above Microsoft. Now, Microsoft as a whole is bigger than Sony but not in the gaming world alone. Microsoft is after that Sony #1 status and I think they're getting closer now.

Sony already fucked up with The Last of US 2 which should have been one of the greatest games of all time and they basically destroyed that franchise. If I were Sony now, I'd be damn shaking....


  • +6
Jranation (on 28 September 2020)

I mean when you have that much money, you dont want to loose to your main competitor


  • +3
zero129 (on 28 September 2020)

Yes no way ZeniMax/Bethesda could of been looking to sell anyways right?, i mean them rumors from awhile back that they where planning on selling to Sony couldnt of had any kind of truth right?, no way could it of been that MS seen losing Bethesda to Sony and having them games locked to "Just" the PS5 platform as bad and then seen an opportunity to buy them instead?. Yeah no it couldnt be something that makes sense IE: Zenimax selling anyways and MS and Sony bidding for them but Bethesda seen MS as the better buyer since their games would still be coming to their main fan base platform "PC" day 1 so it wouldnt effect as many of their fans as if Sony got them. Yeah lets just use fanboy fantasy's and imagine big bad MS forced them to sell right?.


  • +2
method114 (on 28 September 2020)

They tried making talent and 343 has shown us what that talent is capable of. Now they are doing the smart thing and buying established studios.


  • 0
DonFerrari (on 28 September 2020)

And the intended meaning for what MS own Sony can't get is?


sales2099 (on 28 September 2020)

I like how MS is being vague. People are talking about Xbox, all this free PR and pro Xbox word of mouth.


  • +5
method114 (on 28 September 2020)

MS being vague is the whole reason I know it wont be exclusive. They are about to release their console and nothing is going to give them more PR then saying that fallout and Elder Scrolls will never go to playstation again. It would be the biggest blow to Sony in a long time right before consoles release.


  • -3