Bethesda won't be Microsoft's last purchase, company CEO Satya Nadella says.
Thanks to Game Pass and mobile expansion via Project xCloud, Xbox is quite important to Microsoft's service empire. With the service infrastructure established, Microsoft is aggressively investing in content to help spark digital revenues. Whether it comes from subscriber growth, full game sales, or monetization, Microsoft wants more. The main motivation behind the recent $7.5 billion Bethesda acquisition was to add more value to Game Pass.
Including ZeniMax and its eight studios, Xbox now has 23 first-party teams working on projects to boost Game Pass' value. The plan is to flood Game Pass with a multitude of varied content for subscribers, consumers, and gamers to enjoy, play, and pay for. Even with these impressive numbers, Microsoft says that it's always looking to swell its ranks and embolden its billion-dollar service ecosystem.
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella says acquisitions will continue...but only where they make sense for Microsoft.
"We'll always look for places where there is that commonality of purpose, mission and culture. We will always look to grow inorganically where it makes sense," Nadella told CNET.
Phil Spencer also added a line that reinforces their content-oriented focus: "Content is just the incredible ingredient to our platform that we continue to invest in."
The Bethesda buyout is a win-win for both parties. Bethesda will get more resources, bigger budgets, closer first-party access to Microsoft's toolsets, APIs, and content, and most importantly, Microsoft will enable and empower Bethesda's natural evolution towards live service games.
Microsoft in return gets content varied in scope, delivery, and ambition. Bethesda is working on a number of different games including ongoing live games like Fallout 76 and Elder Scrolls Online, as well as frontline singleplayer titles like Starfield and The Elder Scrolls VI.
We have to wonder, though, who Microsoft is eyeing next...and how much they're willing to pay to double down on Xbox Game Pass investments.