One of the most shocking deals in entertainment reared its head this week: On September 21, Microsoft scooped up Zenimax Media, which owns Arkane Studios, Bethesda Softworks, id Software , Alpha Dog Games and plenty others, for a whopping US$7.5billion.
This means that Microsoft now owns many of the most famous franchises in gaming, including and not limited to The Elder Scrolls, Fallout, DOOM, Quake, Wolfenstein and Dishonored. With Xbox Game Pass hitting a new milestone of over 15million users, this acquisition is an incredible next-gen gambit from Microsoft, which wants to prove to its subscribers that the monthly fee is worth it.
- READ MORE: Microsoft acquires Bethesda, creating the biggest wildcard in the console wars since the Nintendo Switch
When the deal closes sometime next year and Bethesda’s timed PS5 exclusivity deals run out, some (if not all) of Bethesda’s future games will launch day one on Xbox Game Pass, across the next-generation of Xbox consoles and PC. And although the ink on the deal has yet to dry, Doom Eternal is already set to join Xbox Game Pass as a taste of what’s to come. But enough about the present – let’s discuss the future: what exciting games can we expect to see as a result of this landmark deal?
5. Fallout: New Vegas 2
As well as strengthening the Xbox Game Pass with blockbuster exclusives, this strategic purchase also creates the real possibility for collaborations and revivals that many have been clamouring for. With Obsidian and Bethesda now under the same roof, a sequel to 2010’s Fallout: New Vegas could very well be made a reality. It’s a game that is up there with Half-Life 3, in terms of fan demand.
— Obsidian (@Obsidian) September 21, 2020
Two of the best RPG makers in the business collaborating on a single project would be music to the entire industry’s ears, but mostly, I think many would just be happy to see a return to the game’s remarkable setting with a fresh lick of paint. A remake might be the safer bet, but what a shame it would be to leave the money-printing opportunity for a sequel hanging.
4. Dishonored 3
Personally, I’m most excited about the prospect of the Dishonored series receiving a significant revival. Although it didn’t sell well, the immersive stealth franchise is critically acclaimed and, in my opinion, one of the most exciting, atmospheric and groundbreaking new IPs to grace modern consoles.
Where Zenimax might have been unable to commit to Dishonored 3, I’m hopeful that Microsoft, with its deep pockets, may be able to give the project the green light now that Arkane is within its growing domain. With its stunning visual effects and powers, Dishonored feels like the perfect game to coax out the benefits of ray tracing and other next-gen graphical upgrades. Give stealth a chance, Microsoft!
3. The Elder Scrolls: Minecraft
Traveller’s Tales’ LEGO games have achieved quite the legacy by reinterpreting iconic IPs like Star Wars and Indiana Jones into hilarious, smaller-scale experiences. In the same vein, I can envision a future where Microsoft uses Minecraft to do the same thing for the massive gaming brands now under its wing.
One feasible option could be The Elder Scrolls: Minecraft, a crossover with colossal potential. Microsoft could use the framework debuted in Minecraft Dungeons to revisit and reimagine the memorable narratives of The Elder Scrolls series with block-based flair, providing vignettes of Morrowind, Oblivion and Skyrim ahead of The Elder Scrolls VI.
2. DOOM X Halo
This one just feels right. Both of these properties feature stoic protagonists renowned for kicking alien ass, so a meeting of the metal minds wouldn’t be so far-fetched. Who’s to say Doomguy couldn’t team up with Master Chief for a spell in hell? Or face off against one another to truly finish the fight?
This can now actually become reality pic.twitter.com/azmvB4Wwut
— Nibel (@Nibellion) September 21, 2020
I think what excites me most about this is the potential for either developer to take a crack at each other’s games. An id Software-developed Halo game could really bring the series back to its gritty, gunplay-focused roots. Meanwhile, a 343 Industries DOOM project could flesh out the narrative of the series, an area which is somewhat lacking.
1. Microsoft All-Stars Royale
Nintendo has already made a considerable mark on the industry with its own roster fighter series Super Smash Brothers, while Sony has also made an attempt in the past with PlayStation All-Stars. And still, Microsoft has yet to cast its line in this arena and deliver a brawler that brings many of the company’s mascots together. With the acquisition of Bethesda comes characters such as Vault Boy, Doomguy, B.J Blazkowicz and Corvo Attano, all prime candidates for an arena brawler that brings some of gaming’s most memorable heroes and villains together.
Add Microsoft’s own characters, from Master Chief to Conker and Marcus Fenix to Manny Calavera, there are now more than enough to graft into a fighter that respects the platform it’s built over the past two decades. Hopefully we’ll see how Ori’s blind forest platforming skills fare against a Gears of War chainsaw lancer in the near future. Fingers crossed!