Works of Tiger Sniffing Mobile Information Group

Author | Huang Qingchun

title map | Oriental IC

In the magical start of 2020, a “Living for a Long Time” drama has raided the game circle.

Last night (September 21), Microsoft’s Xbox director Phil Spencer suddenly announced on his Twitter that Microsoft will fully acquire ZeniMax Media Inc. and its subsidiaries. The acquisition process is expected to be completed in the second half of fiscal 2021.

According to Bloomberg News, Microsoft paid $7.5 billion for the acquisition, which is the largest acquisition in gaming history.

7.5 billion missing “Russian dolls”

“Niu X”, “Living for a long time,” “Ye Qinghui”…These are the first reactions of gamers around when they see Microsoft eating ZeniMax Media. In their words, the influence of this acquisition on the entire gaming industry is no less than when “Disney bought Fox.”

After all, Microsoft, which has the money-making ability, once passed ZeniMax Media, and the studios were piled up.

ZeniMax Media owns two world-class studios, Bethesda Game Studios and id Software, and other game studios such as Bethesda Softworks, ZeniMax Online Studios, Arkane, MachineGames, Tango Gameworks, Alpha Dog, and Roundhouse Studios.

ZeniMax’s product matrix, source: machine core

Only Bethesda’s (Bethesda, “B for short) as of September 2020, the works that have been confirmed to have not yet been released include: “The Elder Scrolls 6”, “Death Cycle”, “Ghost Line: Tokyo”, “Star Fields”, not to mention “German Headquarters”, “Doom”, “The Elder Scrolls”, “Fallout”, “Shame”, “Snatch “Food” and other top game IP ownership will be all assigned to Xb in the futureox camp.

If you want me to say, this sale is just a profit.

Take “The Elder Scrolls 6” as an example. Under no unexpected circumstances, we expect to achieve sales of at least 10 million copies. Based on the current price of $70 per copy, we conservatively estimate 700 million copies. This does not include the following Authorized income. Moreover, when Microsoft won a game of “Minecraft”, it paid 2.5 billion US dollars.

Screenshot of “Minecraft”

If you compare the game companies horizontally, the market value of Capcom Japan is only 5.9 billion U.S. dollars. Now Microsoft has taken over ZeniMax Media and all its studios. (B society + i社) only spent 7.5 billion US dollars.

So, Microsoft estimated that ZeniMax Media could not refuse the reason, and did not even rule out other commitments regarding the group’s core executive positions, studio management rights, and operating rights.

For outsiders, if you repeat more about the social status of B, netizens have limited perception. There are two IPs (bought from id Software). Copyright) can explain the problem:

First of all, “Doom” produced by Bethesda is the first game that visually presents the height difference. Before that, there was no concept of height difference in the game field. In layman’s terms, this game is based on its own. Evolve the game from the 2D era to the 3D era;

Secondly, “Return to the German Army Headquarters” is the first game to use light and shadow technology. This world’s earliest FPS game can be called the light of creation of the current FPS game type.

Furthermore, B agency and top game manufacturers such as EA and Ubisoft are not inferior to each other, and they are definitely the first echelon player in the game field.

Picture source: company official website

It means that Microsoft has established the “rich” configuration of the next-generation console in one fell swoop, and then take a look at the announcement of Microsoft’s acquisition of ZeniMax. In the future, the games of B company will all enter XGP, and the purpose is to be determined to become XGP.

This forces some gamers to use “Sony to die” in the gaming community to build a building.

The ability of banknotes is terrifying.

Microsoft’s raid, better skills?

In fact, when many gamers saw this news, in addition to their bewildered faces, they also had a question: Why did Microsoft suddenly release such a heavy news last night?

I have used “Machine Core” and “3DM GAMG” related articles, post comment area, found two comparisons Interesting sound.

One is that some gamers who join in the fun ridiculed that this is likely to be Microsoft’s “retaliatory consumption”-at the beginning, TikTok offered 30 to 70 billion yuan, and everyone was considering it, and Microsoft rushed forward to buy it; Now that people don’t sell it, Microsoft has bought the B company. Anyway, it’s entertainment consumption.

Of course, this high probability is a joke for gamers to entertain Microsoft. If you have to interpret the investment decision motives, I am more inclined to think that this may be due to the depreciation of the US dollar. Microsoft is trying to acquire assets through a series of mergers and acquisitions. Maximize efficiency, after all, money will always depreciate if it is not used.

Another voice believes that the reason is obvious-today is the day when Microsoft XSX and XSS are on sale. Whether it is to create a topic in advance, or to stimulate some players to turn, this news is very significant.

Official poster of “Halo: Infinite”

Previously, some players complained that after the “Halo: Infinite” bounced, there were no particularly attractive games to play on XSX. Now Microsoft has eaten the parent company of B in one step, and suddenly added seven or eight world-renowned games. The studio, who would dare to say that Xbox has no games?

Regardless of whether Microsoft’s initial acquisition motive was one of the reasons or not, at least this move is one of the best in its fight with Sony.

Round one

In terms of machine performance: Microsoft’s XSX new machine hardware parameters crushed the PS5, but the team’s early announcement broke down, and the machine sales were dragged down; then, the Sony PS5 data came out and was sprayed by players to almost autistic. The appearance of the exclusive works made the word-of-mouth reversal.

Round two

The price of the machine: The prices of Microsoft’s new XSS and XSX have made players feel sincere; Sony continues to use the strategy of exclusive mastery to create a player mentality. It must be admitted that Sony’s exclusive strategy did force some players to turn around. For example, the next eraBuy the monopoly of the two works of B company in one go.

Round three

In terms of strategy: Since Sony couldn’t beat Sony in the first party, Microsoft simply bought B’s Family Bucket; Sony continues to use exclusive masterpieces as gimmicks.

Nevertheless, don’t always give value to Sony, thinking that Sony is just an honest person who is obsessed with local research and development and does not engage in acquisitions. Sony’s first-party studios, God Monica and Naughty Dog, are all European and American factories with pure blood, and Horizon is not a Japanese local game factory, so most of the escort games that Sony’s PS5 exclusive first release are not produced by Japanese factories.

Microsoft’s acquisition of B company will not have much impact on the machine selection in the short term, because B company has signed two exclusive games with Sony before, but it does not rule out that B company’s games will be restricted by Microsoft in the future On PS5.

So, on the surface, Sony is engaged in monopoly, and Microsoft is buying studios; in fact, the better the sales of Sony monopoly, the more money Microsoft makes — after all, the B-club games are monopolized by Sony, and the bulk will eventually be taken away by Microsoft. Sony is still a wage earner after all.

Imagine that when PS5 players are excited to open the exclusive limited-time “Death Loop”, the huge “Xbox Game Studios” are greeted on the screen, which is simply a famous scene that has been seen for a long time.

It can be said that this acquisition is a landmark event since Microsoft launched XGP in 2017, and it will absolutely completely change the way the industry plays afterwards.

What the hell is Microsoft making?

Aside from the commercial aspect, the reason why the news of “Microsoft’s full acquisition of ZeniMax Media Inc” can trigger such a heated discussion among the players is that the experienced players seem to seeThe dawn of the return of “Radiation”.

“Radiation” Strategy Edition

“Radiation” is a classic IP developed by Interplay. It can be called a model of European and American RPG games. It has a strong apocalyptic style, open world settings, diversified game methods, excellent task interaction, etc. Don’t let the global players obsessed with it.

Later, the studio disbanded and reorganized the Obsidian Studio. When the players thought that the B company would eventually inherit the banner of “Radiation”, Microsoft bought Obsidian in a blink of an eye. Since then, the two sides have broken, B company holds the copyright, and the comeback of “Radiation” is stranded.

Since then, when Microsoft once again showed signs of redoing “Fallout”, players thought that perhaps Microsoft would buy IP from B company. As a result, Microsoft muffled the B group up and down, and finally the copyright of “Fallout” Such a dramatic way has returned to Obsidian.

Is this part of the story of “Broken up couples remarried because their parents became remarried brothers and sisters”? Now, the various elements of the old “Fallout” restart have been collected by Microsoft, can you not be excited?

However, how the troubled Obsidian lives under the same roof with Agency B is also a test of Microsoft’s next EQ.

In the last two generations, Microsoft had the idea of ​​acquiring third-party manufacturers such as taketwo and EA, but in the end they were never reached. This time the acquisition of B company, I was afraid that Microsoft would “just take in but not raise”.

For example, in 2019, Microsoft acquired more than a dozen studios, but judging from the results, these studios did not make up a game lineup that supports next-generation consoles. Especially in July this year, the “Halo Infinity” crotch-like game demo was desperate.

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This can also be understood. First of all, any studio’s explosive game has its life cycle. Second, the person who makes the game is supported by pure love and interest. Suddenly, he gets a large sum of money and someone pays him. The original intention of the game is somewhat affected. Even if they have good ideas, these financially free people will form a team outside by themselves instead of contributing to the company.

Furthermore, even if Microsoft does not interfere with the company’s operations now, can you expect that capital will not interfere for one year, two years, and three to five years? Since then, in order to earn back the acquisition funds, Microsoft will inevitably have to carry out some commercial operations on the B company. At that time, whether the B company can maintain its strong creative ability needs to raise a big question mark.

From the perspective of Microsoft’s past style, even if it wants to develop a platform, it will not force its studios to monopolize. Because in the eyes of the wealthy Microsoft, the boundary between Xbox and PS is not obvious, only xgp and non-xgp are clearly distinguished-as long as you are a member, whether you use console, PC, Apple, or Android, we are willing to provide you with good games.

Picture source: reddit

Although there is no more data support, some previous information can tell that Microsoft can calculate the membership fee pricing strategy that most players can accept through data algorithms and based on player host consumption data-instead of letting players Buying the games one by one, it is better to give a package price, as long as you fill the member platform game library, you don’t need to pay separately for all the games.

In essence, Microsoft still wants to replicate the “Netflix model” and create a membership system. Perhaps in the future, Microsoft will use the traffic pool it has accumulated in the game industry to create a new content ecosystem.

So, the battle for Sony is too difficult to fight, smart people have already started to save money to buy XSX.