Microsoft has no plans to disrupt ZeniMax's development teams, and promises it won't cut any jobs or interrupt development.
Microsoft says it has one clear goal with its recent $7.5 billion acquisition: To make ZeniMax the best it can be. After all, what's good for ZeniMax is now good for Microsoft. To make this happen, Microsoft says they will keep the established structure intact. The service giant plans to largely leave ZeniMax alone in this regard.
There won't be any reductions in dev teams, closing of studios, or immediate cancellations of in-development projects (at least at the beginning, but projects get cancelled all the time in the industry). Xbox's Phil Spencer says ZeniMax's 2,300-person workforce will be empowered, and that Microsoft plans to work individually with studios like Bethesda Game Studios, id Software, and MachineGames to garner feedback and open up resources.
When asked by CNBC's Jon Fortt about possible job cuts after the acquisition, Spencer replied:
"Our plan is to leave it alone. ZeniMax has an amazing track record of building great games. Our goal is to make ZeniMax the best they can be, working individually with their studios on the great platform technology we have, getting their creators' feedback into the things we need to go and build. The critical flywheel for us innovating is the feedback of the world's best creators on our platforms."
This aligns with our recent coverage that Microsoft will empower Bethesda's natural shift towards live service games. Microsoft is eager to fit Bethesda into its service framework, and live games are a big part of that. Bethseda has been experimenting in GaaS titles in fits and starts, and Microsoft's guidance will help them streamline, optimize, and ultimately evolve their online-driven experiences.
Spencer also re-confirms that Bethesda will honor all previous exclusivity deals, including Ghostwire Tokyo and Deathloop on PlayStation 5.
"The commitments we've already made with the gamers out there, on the games that people know about, we will continue with those commitments. The thing this is really about is a huge investment in our Xbox community. They know that the great games coming from Zenimax and all of those studios--we're now over 23 studios inside of Xbox--for those games to be able to come to the Xbox community, they'll come to Game Pass day and date of release, and people will just have an amazing collection of great games to continue playing on Xbox."
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