The announcement earlier this week that Microsoft has acquired ZeniMax sent literal shockwaves through the Earth’s core. It was as if everyone on the planet flushed their toilets simultaneously. Schumann Resonances shot off the charts from the absurd number of brain explosions, and I wouldn’t be surprised if we’re now inhabiting a tangent pocket universe because of it.
The news was that unexpected.
Being a huge Elder Scrolls fan, you can imagine how I felt. With Microsoft, I figure this can go one of two ways: Minecraft, or Rare. I just don’t know.
Last year around this time, I posted a rambling on my worries about Elder Scrolls 6, and what Bethesda’s recent moves could mean for the series. The truth is, with or without Microsoft, the studio is on shaky ground. What happens next might determine whether we get a Minecraft Bedrock or a Grabbed By The Ghoulies (not to bash GBtG, honestly. I never played it).
I think it’s still fully up to Bethesda Softworks. But other than that, I can’t speculate. Besides, we’re only just now getting potential leaks of Starfield. The next Elder Scrolls is light-years away.
What I will do is share this video here of the folks in charge discussing the acquisition and the future of ZeniMax properties — which, don’t forget, include Elder Scrolls, Fallout, Doom, Dishonored, Prey, Quake, Wolfenstein…
Holy balls, I’m freaking out again. Let’s roll the tape:
My best case fantasyland scenario: Microsoft has a pretty hands-off approach, but encourages Bethesda with absolute truckloads of money. They do a massive engine overhaul, and create a fully realized Valenwood with walking tree cities and everything.
We get to experience the Wild Hunt in all its cannibalistic glory, and violators of the Green Pact melt into goo in terrifying 4K, 60 FPS agony. No paid mods, no microtransactions, and the game brings peace to the galaxy.
Oh, and id Software makes a new Quake, which revitalizes the arena shooter genre, forcing Epic to shut down their games store and focus all their energy on an Unreal Tournament reboot. For real this time.