Microsoft’s Acquisition of ZeniMax Media: The Battle Against Sony for Content Ownership

2023-06-23 22:28:00

Read full version 24.06.2023 01:28, Dmitry Rud The ongoing hearing in the case of the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) against the Microsoft and Activision Blizzard deal on the second day of meetings touched upon the purchase of temporary exclusives and the status of The Elder Scrolls VI. Image Source: Bethesda In his testimony, Microsoft Gaming CEO Phil Spencer called Sony an aggressive competitor that routinely buys temporary exclusivity from third-party publishers (see Final Fantasy XVI). According to Spencer, one of the key factors in Microsoft’s purchase of ZeniMax Media (the owner of Bethesda) was the threat of Starfield becoming a temporary PlayStation exclusive, as happened with Deathloop and Ghostwire: Tokyo. In September 2020, journalist Imran Khan (Imran Khan) reported that just a few months before the news of ZeniMax joining Microsoft, Sony was in talks with Bethesda about the temporary exclusivity of Starfield. “When we heard that Starfield, too, could overtake Xbox, we immediately understood: we cannot afford to be third in the console race and fall further and further behind others in terms of content ownership. We had to secure the content to stay afloat,” Spencer said. According to Spencer, the release of The Elder Scrolls VI is so far away that it is not yet clear which platforms will be relevant then Spencer also refused to confirm the exclusive status of The Elder Scrolls VI (before, nothing interfered with the leader), citing the remoteness of the game’s release – at least five years . At least one fan of the series will not be happy with such terms. Spencer says that buying Bethesda and (in the future) Activision Blizzard is a way to compete with Sony. Microsoft does not spare money for competition: the deal is estimated at a record $68.7 billion.
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