Microsoft buying Bethesda is good for all gamers – Reader’s Feature

A reader defends Microsoft’s purchase of Bethesda as encouraging competition and ensuring that Sony does not get complacent.

I have never been one for getting involved in console wars myself, but I always enjoyed reading the virtual warfare between committed fans on both sides across the internet.

I am an avid gamer, I have been for decades. I have owned every PlayStation and Xbox that has come to the market. But I will say this is the first console war I have witnessed where it feels one side is coming across very defensive and that – maybe surprisingly given this generation’s result – happens to be from the Sony army.

I was inspired to write this after reading a recent Reader’s Feature, entitled Microsoft is buying its way to victory with Xbox and that’s bad news, which at times made me laugh out loud (‘LOL’ as the cool kids call it). So I thought I would call out some points:

  • ‘$7.5bn is all it took for Microsoft to go from a laughing stock… to a serious contender’ – Microsoft achieved a significant amount of positive press following the price leaks and subsequent Xbox Series S reveal. Then, EA Play being added free to Games Pass resulted in further surprise and excitement for Team Green.
  • ‘What you do is buy a ton of content, doesn’t really matter what it is, but just enough to say you have a lot. It’s quantity over quality’ – Even though Sony dominated this current generation, Games Pass currently has 15 million subscribers, compared to PlayStation Now’s 2.2 million at the last count (I note that Tony T seemed unaware of PlayStation Now’s existence – stating a ‘PlayStation Pass only seems a matter of time’). The reason for this is the quality of the Games Pass games in comparison to PlayStation Now. This includes every Microsoft AAA title – Halo, Forza, Gears Of War, and now soon to be EA and Bethesda games (Doom Eternal has already been confirmed as joining Games Pass soon).
  • ‘So what’s the problem you might ask? Well, the obvious one: all these new games are going to become exclusives’ – The main thing Microsoft has been criticised for in the current generation (and at the start of the writer’s own article) was that Microsoft did not have enough exclusive games. Now that they are going to have some of the biggest and best games in gaming as exclusives, it is now a problem?

(We feel you’re being rather disingenuous about a lot of this. The reader’s point, as we understood it, was that Microsoft is buying its success rather nurturing its own talent, with the Bethesda purchase in particular now risking the prospect that previously multiformat franchises, such as Fallout and Elder Scrolls, will become exclusives. Which is very different than making Halo or Forza yourself. Also, that Microsoft’s actions have the potential of creating an environment where only the very largest companies can compete, leading to a monopolistic situation similar to Disney’s film and TV business – GC)

PlayStation dominated this current generation. Although I ended up purchasing both consoles, I will admit I was actually glad Microsoft suffered in the current generation. The Xbox One launch was awful and completely off the mark, and they deserved the bloody nose. However, Phil Spencer has undoubtedly turned Xbox around completely and fixed the problems that gave them such a weak start. He is a gamer, and he listened and acted upon the feedback from the global gaming community.

With games rumoured to average £70 in the new generation, Games Pass is incredible and the best value in gaming. Anyone who would say otherwise is biased. I have no problem in EA and Bethesda games being added to the line-up, it only makes it better for Xbox gamers. We all know competition drives positive results for consumers, so I have no doubt Sony will at some point respond. But for now, as someone who will own both the Xbox Series X and the PlayStation 5, it is clear the best value for gamers at this point in time is to be on the Microsoft ecosystem.

However, gamers should be extremely excited for whatever console they choose to side with. As for me, I look forward to next seven years of back and forth between both sides – football rivalries have nothing on console rivalries!

By reader Steve M

This Reader’s Feature does not necessary represent the views of GameCentral or Metro.

You can submit your own 500 to 600-word reader feature at any time, which if used will be published in the next appropriate weekend slot. As always, email [email protected] and follow us on Twitter.

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