While Microsoft has been slowly acquiring game studios for some time now, its record-breaking $7.5 billion acquisition of Bethesda parent company ZeniMax showed just how serious Microsoft’s first-party development ambitions are. In an appearance on Twitch’s Glitchcon opening address, Xbox head Phil Spencer touched on the Bethesda acquisition, but also confirmed it’ll be adding more studios to its roster in future.
Spencer clarified first that, while the Bethesda acquisition is in motion, it hasn’t yet been finalized and most likely won’t be until early 2021 due to regulatory processes. “Coming together now and having them become part of Xbox I think will just be an amazing opportunity with the great games that they’ll continue to build,” Spencer said. “The great thing is, those games will become part of Game Pass on the day that they launch, which I think creates more opportunity for people to go play.”
“In terms of continuing to invest in new studios and new games and new content, absolutely we have to do that,” Spencer confirmed. “It’s important that we continue to build out the library of games that are available on Xbox. We’ll double the size of our studios organization when we add Bethesda, and we’re going to continue to invest in great games so that people can find their next favorite game on our platform.”
Spencer’s comments go to show that Microsoft’s gaming ambitions go well beyond the Xbox as simply a piece of hardware, and that the company is also looking to consolidate a software empire with Xbox Game Pass as its backbone. Spencer has previously commented on the Bethesda acquisition, saying that the point is not to make all its games console exclusive, or force anyone to buy Microsoft’s hardware.
In the video, Spencer also apologized for the Xbox Series X/S shortages, addressing Xbox fans’ frustrations with the console’s limited availability.