Microsoft rumored to be buying...... [2020-04, 2020-07, 2020-11]

Discussion in 'Console Industry' started by Nesh, Apr 18, 2020.

  1. Tkumpathenurpahl

    Tkumpathenurpahl Oil Monsieur Geezer
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    I pretty much agree with @Nesh but I'm unsure of a way out of this.

    If Microsoft had only purchased Bethesda rather than Zenimax in their entirety, it wouldn't ruffle my feathers at all. Microsoft and Bethesda have an excellent working relationship going back years, well before either party ventured into the console realm.

    Similarly, I don't think anyone would've minded if Microsoft bought Bungie (I was surprised when I found out they didn't already own them.) But I do think it would've been a distasteful move if Sony had bought Bungie, and I thought it was quite pathetic of Sony to try so desperately to financially seduce them.

    The very corporate style of trying to just buy out the land from underneath competitors does irk me. As stated above by Nesh, Microsoft's attempt to purchase Nintendo and Square Enix are characteristic of a mindset that thinks everything's for sale, and that culture and cultural ties are secondary and tertiary to cold, hard cash.

    I don't know if there is an easy answer, because this behaviour's everywhere across all sorts of industries. I don't even know if there's a monopoly commission anymore.

    Personally, I'd rather see more timed exclusives than eternal exclusives. I recently got to play Mark of the Ninja: it was disappointingly easy and mechanically lacking IMO, but I was able to play it, and the publisher has gotten a few quid from me. For X360 players at the time, it was added value to owning the platform. Not so much 10 years later.

    Perhaps that could be a viable tweak made to copyright law? E.g. after 20 years, any platform capable of selling and playing content may do so.

    I'm sorry if that was a bit incoherent. I'm wildly hungover right now, and alternating between petting a dog, eating pasta, and drinking caffeinated milk. Damn, I'm all out of milk.
     
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  2. DSoup

    DSoup meh
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    Microsoft did buy Bungie in the year 2000 but Bungie left Microsoft in 2007. As senior Bungie folks said on record, it was an amicable split and they left because they wanted to work on IP other than Halo.
     
  3. eastmen

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    I rather a company buy a company to make games exclusive than to pay third parties to make random games exclusive or timed exclusive. When a company is bought you can assume going forward you wont have access to those games unless you buy the platform of the purchaser .
     
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  4. see colon

    see colon All Ham & No Potatos
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    Microsoft, at least in the video game space, has a strange history of owning things and sort of letting them go. Bungie is a big example. They were in many ways the premier Xbox studio. Microsoft just let them leave. They also licensed out the FASA IPs, so we got Shadowrun and Mechwarrior games. I don't think any of those have appeared on Playstation, but I never got the impression that they were any sort of forced exclusive. And then there's stuff like Minecraft. They keep making it for other systems, and support it as well.

    I get that Bungie only really worked on Halo for Microsoft, but that would be like Naughty Dog being released from Sony after Uncharted 3, or maybe after Jak X.
     
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  5. Eolirin

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    I know it's not anything we'll ever get confirmation on, but wasn't the rumor that Sony was in talks to acquire Zenimax and things fell through before MS came in with a higher bid?

    If that was true this isn't a console wars thing. Zenimax was looking to sell and just needed the right terms. MS was able to provide better ones than Sony, that's all.
     
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  6. Tkumpathenurpahl

    Tkumpathenurpahl Oil Monsieur Geezer
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    Oh, that's news to me. I had no idea that could even happen. I thought once a company was bought, that was that. Do you have any further details?

    I'm not advocating for paying third parties. I'm saying I would rather first party content remains purchasable and playable only on first party hardware for *some* period of time. What period that might be, I don't know, but something akin to Horizon Zero Dawn being exclusive for a few years but eventually releasing on PC. A further evolution thereof would be the best outcome IMO.

    The narrowly avoided/postponed closure of the PS3 and Vita stores is reason enough for tweaking of copyright to the extent I proposed, because I don't want artistic creations to wink out of existence just because some bean counters have decided they cost a few too many pennies to keep available.
     
  7. Tkumpathenurpahl

    Tkumpathenurpahl Oil Monsieur Geezer
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    That's the rumour, yes.

    I agree that it's not a console war thing. I don't care for the console wars. What I do care for is being able to buy content even if I have to wait a few years.
     
  8. BRiT

    BRiT (>• •)>⌐■-■ (⌐■-■)
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    They will likely also be on PC, so just need one of those... Not sure which one is easier to get a hold of in these times, nor how long these times will go on for.
     
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  9. see colon

    see colon All Ham & No Potatos
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    It's pretty surprising when things like this happen, but it does from time to time. People Can Fly did it as well. They were owned by Epic, and then they weren't, and now they make Outriders, and they also retained the Bulletstorm IP. Which is even more crazy. Also, IO Interactive, and they also retained their signature IPs (Hitman and Freedom Fighters). IP is an insane thing to let go, in my opinion. Residuals from old game sales and licensing can produce a passive income for any publisher, and that means more security and ability to survive a few missteps in a very competitive market. That's why EA can survive a combined Anthem, Battlefield V and Andromeda, but but Bosskey can't survive a single Lawbreakers.
     
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  10. Eolirin

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    Well, EA also has annual sports game revenue and near quarterly Sims 4 revenue and SWTOR revenue in a constant cadence. So the core of their business is really stable and puts out very consistent income regardless of what's happening with their longer horizon AAA blockbuster titles, but yeah, the back catalog helps, especially when bundled into EA Play.
     
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  11. Eolirin

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    Well, the cost of entry for MS's ecosystem for first party exclusives is a decent internet connection and $15 a month.

    And really, if you're okay waiting a few years anyway, then save up for the appropriate hardware and it's likely to have seen a price drop by then.
     
  12. Nesh

    Nesh Double Agent
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    This guy gets it
     
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  13. Tkumpathenurpahl

    Tkumpathenurpahl Oil Monsieur Geezer
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    That's true, but that makes the next Fallout game ~£550. A little bit steep for a peasant like me!

    The latter point's true, but by that point there will either be a PS5 Pro or an impending PS6. Hardware for an ecosystem in which I'm already invested will receive money that I save up. A secondary console does appeal to some extent, but I can just never justify spending an extra couple of hundred on something that will spend most of its time sat collecting dust.

    To your first point though, that's a pretty good compromise. Currently, my internet sucks, but I should be moving soon, so that part will be more viable. I need to get my little laptop repaired (it's only really any good for web browsing, but it may be capable of XCloud. It's able to do Remote Play, so I guess we'll see ¯\_(ツ)_/¯)

    But in that case, from Microsoft's perspective, they're going to get a month's worth of GamePass revenue each time I want to play one of their games. So that's £8 instead of the £40-£60 that I'd be willing to pay.
     
  14. BRiT

    BRiT (>• •)>⌐■-■ (⌐■-■)
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    The trouble with "timed exclusives" is the range seems to be set at 2 years and getting longer, possibly as much as 5 to 7 years.
     
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  15. DSoup

    DSoup meh
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    Once bought by Microsoft Bungie, 'Bungie' basically became a registered trademark. The senior management team are stayed until they got to a point where they wanted to work on something different to Halo whereas Microsoft dearly wanted them to produce more stories form the Halo universe. Microsoft couldn't stop the people leaving, the Bungie team members could have just left and started a new studio like when Grant Collier, Jason West, and Vince Zampella of the original Infinity Ward studio walked out on Activision and created Respawn - although there were extenuating circumstances there.

    During the exit negotiations, Microsoft kept Bungie's IP and the Bungie team able to keep their name. The whole thing is detailed well on Wikipedia.
     
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  16. liams

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    one thing to consider in this is that Microsoft really didn't acquire anything after they initially started with Rare, Bungie, ensemble, lionhead and FASA in the very early 2000's so while sony (not that this is bad to be clear) strategically acquired partners here or there Microsoft did not. There are so many developers that microsoft worked closely with that later got acquired by other companies.


    Heres a list of companies that microsoft worked closely with before they were acquired by another company or stopped working exclusively with them
    1. Bioware
    2. DICE
    3. Remedy
    4. Bungie
    5. Respawn (I know they only did titanfall, but it was their first and only game when ms funded it)
    6. Bizarre Creations (project gotham racing)
    7. Dreamworks interactive (a game developer that was started as a joint venture between microsoft and dreamworks in 1995, later acquired by EA)

    Also basically every non sports franchise developer that EA owns/owned

    and probably a few more besides, if they even had half of those they would be in an entirely different place first party wise right now, even without the zenimax acquisition

    Looking at microsofts actions handling gaming up until the launch of the xbox one shows upper managements complete misunderstanding of game development. I get the impression that at the time they saw game developers just as groups of talented individuals working on a game together, and didn't realise that the capabilities of a studio are often more than the sum of the talented developers that work there. Taking this perspective explains almost all of their actions that were frankly dumb

    In no particular order
    1. letting bungie go: yeah they wanted to work on a new ip and you would have to build a team to continue with halo, so why not keep them and let them do their new ip? Because they thought they were just a team of people, and that 343 would be equivalent (I am NOT saying that bungie are better devs than 343 here, to be VERY clear, just that 343 didnt come up with halo, so to some (really many) consumers they lose the right to materially change halo, even now halo infinite is a return to the bungie halos, Whereas if bungie were still developing halo I am certain they would have more 'clout' to change aspects of halo games to continue evolving the series )
    2. Closing ensemble studio: Why close a studio that had literally never sold less than 3 million copies on a title, even though the dev time for each title was increasing? Why not just replace management and not close down the whole studio? Because to them ensemble was just a nickname for the team on that project, they could just hire some people when they wanted to make strategy games again (and look at how thats going, they had to partner with an external dev to make AoE4)
    3. The handling of Rare like they handled any other studio (ie each studio worked on one project at a time), and not letting them continue operating how they had before (microsoft literally remodelled the Rare headquarters in an effort to discourage how Rare had worked previously, with separate teams siloed away from each other working on different projects)
    5. Closing Aces Game Studio, which completely stopped any main stream game simulator releases in both the flight simulator and train simulator markets for a long while
    4. letting Peter Molyneux have essentially complete control of lionhead, making frankly weird games, and not in a good way, like project milo. He was the 'Project leader' after all, so why not give him complete control?
    etc etc

    Initially microsoft's management style for their game studios was a weird mix of requiring conformance and being hands off

    That was admittedly a bit of a tangent, but I just wanted to add some flavour to the idea that microsoft really didnt know what the hell they were doing in games at the beginning, even though they thought that they did. Which led to the lack of investment into their first party in any meaningful way, and the closure of studios for no reason
     
  17. Tkumpathenurpahl

    Tkumpathenurpahl Oil Monsieur Geezer
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    True, but I don't really mind that. Generally anyway, although it depends on what it is. The PlayStation exclusive modes in CoD strike me as ludicrous. I don't bother with multiplayer games, so it doesn't impact me at all, but I still don't think it's fair.

    But as old as Alan Wake is, I'd still buy it if it released on the PS4/5, especially after playing Control and its DLC. Similarly, an Xbox gamer like yourself might buy the first Uncharted game (it's 14 years old! :runaway:) if you could get it on Xbox. But I doubt its PlayStation exclusivity would tempt you to buy a PlayStation.

    Those are the kind of thing I mean by "more timed exclusives than eternal exclusives."
     
  18. liams

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    I think your idea does have merit, but the problem is, if say after 7 years the game would go to other platforms who makes the port? It costs money and effort to get a game to run on different platforms
     
  19. eastmen

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    I mean Alan wake requires windows xp , dual core 2ghz intel or 2.8ghz amd , 2GB of memory , dx 10 card with 512 megs of ram and 8 gigs of hard drive space. Recommended requirements would be windows 7 with a quad core 2.66ghz intel / 3.2ghz amd , 4GB memory and a 1GB dx10 video card.

    Wouldn't it just be easier to buy and play the pc version ? on steam it will most likely run in linux also.
     
  20. Silent_Buddha

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    If you can tolerate streaming latency there's also Xcloud. Lots of people in Korea, for example, that are playing Xbox exclusives without owning an Xbox or in some cases even owning a PC.

    Regards,
    SB
     
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