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Opinion (Long Read) Platform holders acquiring AAA studios will be good for the industry

CamHostage

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What benefits??? the nuclear bomb bomb analogy is terrifying so... wipe out competition, force us stay on their platform for games who once were available everywhere. yeah sounds like a wonderful future for gaming.

I mean, yes, totally with you (and I'm a PlayStation gamer primarily, so right now I have a little bit of that feeling of, "Uh, what, our Emperor is no longer a god??"), but...

The one thing about the nuclear analogy that I am reckoning with is that I don't think this nuke is aimed at Sony, per se. It's aimed at the Netflixes and Disney Pluses. Already, Xbox is competing for eyeballs/attention with everything else kids can do these days, and Microsoft won't be in the business of selling Xboxes forever. As with most entertainment mediums, "services " will be the future of getting games. Streaming will probably take over* (as much as die-hards hate it and will fight against it or to subvert it,) at some point in the future when the price point and performance threshold convinces gamers to choose convenience over direct physicality. It's why Amazon and Google have been trying to get into gaming (albeit with lots of difficulties), because their devices aren't seen as Amazon Prime Video or Google Play devices; they're the portals to everything you do for fun.

(*I want to be careful about saying "streaming is the future, I know it's a battleground concept for hardcore gamers. But if not streaming, some other "service" will be how you get what you want instead buying a disc or paying for a download. Already, the Game Pass deal is seen as too good to pass up, and users are wondering why they ever need to buy a full game again when they're building their backlog every month just buy subscribing. And it's just getting started...)

What happens when you can get Xbox Game Pass not just on your Xbox game console or a PC, but on the tablet or smartTV you already do everything else on (including another Xbox, but maybe also a Switch or a Oculus Quest or whatever is the future of gaming?)

What happens when the whole Xbox business is compressed down to an App you install on all your devices?

As that transition happens, media will coalesce under specific ownership, because it makes it hard to be an independent publisher when A) the service is also in the production business and makes more money if it creates its own titles O&O, and B) putting the same product on every different service makes paying into more than one service seem a questionable subscription even if it's the exclusives that brought users in at first. We will see what happens to the EAs and Ubisofts and THQ Nordics of the world (most have initially tried to start their own services with their brands, just like CBS/Paramount and Universal and Viacoms have, but you need both the names and the backing to go that big and even major studios are confused what's ahead when there doesn't seem to be any deals for anybody but those who podium.)

The Xbox service aims to finish the battle before it even starts, and to do so, it will need weapons. Microsoft is aiming to become the Netflix of the gaming future, not the Paramount+ or Peacock. Halo and Forza are enough to sell a console, but once you're competing with everything all at once, a subscription service needs a more steady supply or people will find another option. And although the Xbox ecosystem already had Elder Scrolls and Doom and Fallout and everything that this buyout absorbs, being able to say that these are Xbox Game Pass titles instead of just games that are also on Xbox as well as elsewhere is a statement that demands users get Game Pass. They can afford to let Sony or maybe Nintendo have a sip still if they choose to let some franchises continue to also appear elsewhere (it might even be good brand awareness since MS doesn't need to actually drop the nuclear bomb in order to establish itself as a superpower, they just need to be the one with their finger on the button,) because that conversion may be a little bit down the road (and may/probably will happen different than it has happened in other entertainment forms.) But when the time comes, they want to make sure that the competition can not compete.
 
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yurinka

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So MS just confirmed they will be walling off their content completely from direct competitors like sony and nintendo to add more value to their platform
No, they didn't. They said some of the Besthesda games will be (at least temporal) console exclusives. All of them will release on PC and other will be also playable (even if maybe not at launch) in other consoles.

Maybe it would be better for everyone to have all games available everywhere, but it isn't the case. They need to have their own games to sell hardware and services and make money in order to compete agains their main competition.

In any case, they represent a very small market share of console and PC markets. Both selling hardware, selling games for their consoles, selling 1st party games or selling game subscription services.

And inside gaming these PC and console markets are smaller than mobile. So who cares if they get some exclusives, they need them to try to be competitive in some market and decided to bet harder on the subcriptions one. So need to fill it with a good catalog.
 
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Sub Boss

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I think that's a bad example. Japanese companies would improve under sony and would allow them to regain marketshare in japan. its a win win for buyer and seller. This is actually likely to happen. If sony bought either of those companies they would restructure them, make them more efficiently churn out games and make them more profitable. No more waiting 10 plus years for a mainline final fantasy.
Ehh idk what about their switch games, Capcom is doing pretty good by themselves now 👍

I agree that main FF would come sooner though 🤭

Edit: actually i think Sony already owns some part of Square Enix 🤔, not enough to always tell them what to do but they have some control over what they make, anyways it seems SE is getting better since UE4 at least, and Final Fantasy is still heavily Play Station exclusive. But with some love to other platforms from time to time 👌 i guess that works well enough for now
 
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NoviDon

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Ehh idk what about their switch games, Capcom is doing pretty good by themselves now 👍

I agree that main FF would come sooner though 🤭

Edit: actually i think Sony already owns some part of Square Enix 🤔, not enough to always tell them what to do but they have some control over what they make, anyways it seems SE is getting better since UE4 at least, and Final Fantasy is still heavily Play Station exclusive. But with some love to other platforms from time to time 👌 i guess that works well enough for now
Actually Sony gave their shares to SE years ago in a business deal. I agree they have a good partnership, but if MS continues to absorb big developers sony will have to act in kind. And SE would be a great start since they have a shared country bond and SE had a big catalogue of franchise titles still relevant today and have tons of talent already inhouse. they wouldn't need a rebuild just a restructure of the workflow to improve efficiency to pump out those blockbuster hits multiple times per generation.
 
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NoviDon

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It is genuinely entertaining watching these opinions change with the wind. When your preferred platform does it its “brilliant” when the platform you don’t own does it is “anti-consumer”.
It's crazy because the last thing on my mind was to bring a "win" to my team and bring honor to a console of choice. I've grown past those days. I thought I had clearly taken a neutral stance this whole time and people keep accusing me of being biased either way. Yes, truly entertaining lol.
 

Arkam

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It's crazy because the last thing on my mind was to bring a "win" to my team and bring honor to a console of choice. I've grown past those days. I thought I had clearly taken a neutral stance this whole time and people keep accusing me of being biased either way. Yes, truly entertaining lol.
A. There are dozens of others in this thread.
B. There are multiple threads related to this topic.
C. Didn’t @ you. So no need to be on the defense.
 
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JerryinSoCal

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AAA publishers being gobbled up by MS, Sony etc is awful not great. It leaves fewer choices for consumers, now if you want a AAA bethesda game you have to buy an xbox console or a PC capable of running the games, these are games that Xbox and PC players would have had available to them anyway all this does is take them away from Sony and Nintendo console owners, there is NOTHING good about it unless it's a studio that's about to close and the hardware makers needs more talent.
 
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NoviDon

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AAA publishers being gobbled up by MS, Sony etc is awful not great. It leaves fewer choices for consumers, now if you want a AAA bethesda game you have to buy an xbox console or a PC capable of running the games, these are games that Xbox and PC players would have had available to them anyway all this does is take them away from Sony and Nintendo console owners, there is NOTHING good about it unless it's a studio that's about to close and the hardware makers needs more talent.
I addressed these concerns in my OP and like five other posts on the front page.
 

Outrunner

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I think there's a difference between buying out developers and working with them to develop new IPs and just wholesale buying out publishers and their intellectual properties.

So you have huge multi-platform IPs like DOOM and The Elder Scrolls, suddenly walled off from ecosystems they're previously thrived in. I don't hate it - but the reality is that the Bethesda buy out is less about adding something to MS's portfolio (all these games were already slated to appear on MS platforms) and more about depriving competitors of something they previously had.

The headline isn't "The Elder Scrolls VI coming to XBOX!!", it's "The Elder Scrolls VI will NOT be coming to PlayStation!!"
Great Post, mate.
 

CamHostage

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It is genuinely entertaining watching these opinions change with the wind. When your preferred platform does it its “brilliant” when the platform you don’t own does it is “anti-consumer”.

This is fairly unprecedented, though, no?

It's one thing for Sony to stand up on its stage and say, "We are proud to announce that Marvel has chosen our studio Insomniac to realize a next-generation Spider-Man experience...", or Microsoft on its own stage say, "The full power of Unreal Engine 3 will be unleashed in a stunning new title by Epic Games itself called Gears of War, exclusively for Xbox..." It's another thing to take the Elder Scrolls and Starfield that all gamers have been awaiting (albeit less Starfield, since I don't know if it would have been a total shock for that to have had some exclusivity window placed on it) along with several other of the biggest brands in gaming and say, "Nope, not for you anymore."

Sure, Final Fantasy switching from Nintendo to PlayStation left a crater in a lot of hearts, and Monster Hunter leaving Vita at the alter in favor of 3DS was painful for some specific people, but there's never really been anything on this scale where whole product lines are no longer available without a certain box or subscription (or PC, but PC is Switzerland in the Console War.)

And the message that can be read into it, that the gaming market will consolidating under the might of a few superpowers and everybody else will be third-world entity just waiting to be conquered by one side or another... I'm painting it bleak, but I'm not personally looking forward to more of these consolidation announcements from either side (even if more buyouts are inevitable.) I don't really love what it has done to the movie industry, and I'm reading through NoviDon's posts to see where he sees the potential avenues of benefit but it's not the direction I prefer the gaming industry to go.
 
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NoviDon

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and I'm reading through NoviDon's posts to see where he sees the potential avenues of benefit but it's not the direction I prefer the gaming industry to go.
Its maybe not the preferable route for the industry to take, but MS is basically saying we have the money to out bid and out buy you and we will be market leader and gamepass will be a top subscription service one way or another. They won't say that publicly, but thats clearly whats going down. It is what it is, and Sony will have no choice but to respond in some way eventually. Speaking of the benefit, the competition to win consumers will reach a new level. the bethesda acquisition will force sony to make a gamepass equivalent with comparable value. Guaranteed. So for however much per month you could be getting tons of AAA content for free every month. Sony may also offer free Sony Picture films every month as well.

The value incentive should get crazy good, and if you have both consoles its double the fun. also like ive been saying if a franchise goes exclusive that was traditionally available on all platforms that could run it, thats going to leave developers open to take a shot at making their own version of that game type. The demand WILL be met $$$. Also, publishers going under the platform umbrella allows for small and mid sized developers to be upwardly mobile and take up the space in the third party sector and reach a bigger audience. Like what if Mcdonalds and Burger King were bought by Jeff Bezos and were only available to people in Mississippi? A mid sized chain that offers similar menus and comparable or better product would move in and fill in the void/demand left by those companies.
 

yurinka

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Its maybe not the preferable route for the industry to take, but MS is basically saying we have the money to out bid and out buy you and we will be market leader and gamepass will be a top subscription service one way or another. They won't say that publicly, but thats clearly whats going down. It is what it is, and Sony will have no choice but to respond in some way eventually. Speaking of the benefit, the competition to win consumers will reach a new level. the bethesda acquisition will force sony to make a gamepass equivalent with comparable value. Guaranteed. So for however much per month you could be getting tons of AAA content for free every month. Sony may also offer free Sony Picture films every month as well.

The value incentive should get crazy good, and if you have both consoles its double the fun. also like ive been saying if a franchise goes exclusive that was traditionally available on all platforms that could run it, thats going to leave developers open to take a shot at making their own version of that game type. The demand WILL be met $$$. Also, publishers going under the platform umbrella allows for small and mid sized developers to be upwardly mobile and take up the space in the third party sector and reach a bigger audience. Like what if Mcdonalds and Burger King were bought by Jeff Bezos and were only available to people in Mississippi? A mid sized chain that offers similar menus and comparable or better product would move in and fill in the void/demand left by those companies.
Sony doesn't need to buy anything, they are the clear market leader and are making more money right now than any other console platform holder in gaming history. They made a record revenue in 2020 and it was being supply constrained in the best selling part of the year.

Not only selling consoles, games for their consoles or selling 1st & 2nd party games. Regarding game subscription services, Sony has way more subscribers and generate way more revenue wih Plus+Now than Gold+GamePass. If they continue with their current strategy they will continue growing and dominating.

AAA games become more and more expensive with every new generation, so they need to be released on more platforms to keep being profitable if aren't big sellers or MTX cash grabbers. This is why they started to get extra revenue with subscriptions, and MS moved to PC and now Sony seems to be testing to waters to do the same at least with old ports. This is also the reason of why they don't ask for full exclusivity to 3rd parties and ask only for console exclusives or even timed console exclusives: it's to help this 3rd party/indie to have more chances of being profitable.

The amount of publishers, developers and games published grow every year, so they don't even need to buy studios: they can also just sign some exclusivity deals with some quality indies to build a good catalog to support their 1st and 2nd party library, something that also is way cheaper for them.

And in the same way, Microsoft can't ignore how big PlayStation and Nintendo market share are. This is why when MS bought someone they didn't stop supporting the games they had there, or published more games there: MS wants revenue and if the players are mostly on PlayStation and Nintendo they will have to publish games there. They did it with Ori or Minecraft, and will do it with Zenimax games.
 
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Jokerevo

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So MS just confirmed they will be walling off their content completely from direct competitors like sony and nintendo to add more value to their platform, and to incentivize gamers to invest in gamepass. And some people are freaking out about this. And yes, those people have valid concerns that effect them as consumers. but their are pros and cons to every action, and I believe the pros of AAA acquisition far outweighs the bad significantly for the industry as a whole, and eventually will payoff for consumers.

So If MS are going all in on this strategy then this is going to be the first step in what some people are afraid of. Competitors have to react to a strategy that puts them potentially at an competitive disadvantage. This sets a precedent for an acquisition spree that will see a large chunk of the big legacy studios being hungry hungry hippo gobbled up by the platform holders. Business is a cold war, and you dont sit around resting on your laurels while your neighboring country is advancing nuclear weapons programs. Investors will not sit around quietly while a competitor is slowly gobbling up chunks of the industry and eating into marketshare. Something has to and will happen.

So I want everyone's opinion on it. Me personally, I think once the dust settles on an AW(acquisition war) in ten years MS will have more AAA studios than sony, simply because they have mote capital to dish out, but less industry leading/quality titles. Sony culturally will only acquire studios that fit the brand image and offer a level of quality gameplay experience synonymous with said brand. I think MS's strategy is to gain as many big time franchise titles as possible and make the xbox brand an unavoidable purchase along with gamepass. So a quantity vs quality experience from both platforms respectably, but both offering insane value propositions that make both next gen systems must haves.

Now, some of these legacy franchises are walled off under one platform, isn't this a terrible thing? I personally don't think it will be demoralizing for consumers. I think this would be like the industry rebuilding after a market crash without the bubble actually bursting. It could make the third party sector more competitive and pro consumer as its been in decades.

the vast majority of consumers play more third party than first party games, so the vaccum left over in the third party market will allow mid sized and smaller developers an opportunity to have upward mobility. New AAA studios will emerge that offer new gameplay experiences and will force the remaining legacy studios to be more creative and daring with their ideas or be left behind. Franchises that walled off to certain platform holders will be replaced with variants to replace them, offering a new take on the genre, because the demand will still be their from the consumers on other platforms.

For example If fallout and elderscrolls are walled off that leaves a studio to create a new, better variant in the third party space, without the bug ridden gambryo engine and shitty writing to hold it back, and without a direct competitor. It could take a middling or smaller studio on the map and raise that studio to powerhouse status. It would be a land of opportunity, a new golden age.

But maybe I'm wrong. What do you guys think? Could this big, aggressive move by MS be a one off affair, or signs of things to come? Will MS or Sony achieve market dominance over the other if an AW is really on the horizon? And what will be the future effects on gamers and the industry. Would love to hear peoples thoughts below.
Lmao you haven't got a clue do you? Those studios became AAA because of their independence. They took something and moulded it their way.

Look at Bioware now. Remember Rare?

MS strategy is simple, we can't keep up with the competition so let's buy them up. We can't even beat nintendo with infinite resources. We were also the guys that couldn't even harness Platinum games creativity. We had exclusives and cool IP in the 360 era but we forgot to double down and assumed the 360 sheep would follow us into the X era. We went with power and yet could not create a single era defining game that actually said : buy X and you get to play this.

So now what we're going to do now is make this gigantic buffet and hope there's something at the bottom of the barrel.
 
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NoviDon

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Lmao you haven't got a clue do you? Those studios became AAA because of their independence. They took something and moulded it their way.

Look at Bioware now. Remember Rare?

MS strategy is simple, we can't keep up with the competition so let's buy them up. We can't even beat nintendo with infinite resources. We were also the guys that couldn't even harness Platinum games creativity. We had exclusives and cool IP in the 360 era but we forgot to double down and assumed the 360 sheep would follow us into the X era. We went with power and yet could not create a single era defining game that actually said : buy X and you get to play this.

So now what we're going to do now is make this gigantic buffet and hope there's something at the bottom of the barrel.
I really dont even know what your point is lol...a bunch of ranting about the history of xbox and some metaphor about a buffet...Is your point that EA sucks and they ruin developers they acquire? I agree with you. But that has nothing to do with my post you quoted so...yeaaaah... :)
 

Zannegan

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the vaccum left over in the third party market will allow mid sized and smaller developers an opportunity to have upward mobility.
I came in here ready to argue, because overall I don't think it's a good thing, but this is one point I agree with.

It only works if some of those first party studios that are acquired are killed off though, which they will be. Then their IPs will disappear into the first party vault, only to be dragged out occasionally for HD remasters and mobile games. Even if we get replacement IPs, we'll never really be able to play in those worlds again. This too is a mix of good and bad, I guess, but you can't ask me to be thrilled about it.
 
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Greggy

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All i know is that 7.5billion dollar in new studios and games would perform better then Bethesda.

i don’t get why ms chooses to be so inefficient with their money. Just start studios and create good talent. They shouldve done this since 2013 then by now they would have a few games released already. Waiting till the last moment and then buying a big Corp for games just screams bad management for me. But it will bring good games to Xbox as well just not as many and probably not as good since they seem to be interested in forcing success then actually building it.

my crystal ball says in 10 years nobody talks about Bethesda anymore and just 2-3 studios remain really top tier from this buyout. Hopefully id is one of them.
How did that turn out for Stadia? MS did it for the Initiative and Turn 10. But trying to start 8 studios with no history from scratch would have been dumb and overly risky. They know what they’re getting with Bethesda and that makes the return on investment more palpable.
Also who made your crystal ball, Jim Ryan?
Why would studios like Tango, Arkane or Machine games suddenly disappear?
 
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For gamers, big corporations buying devs is good if the dev is struggling, broke or about to shut its doors. They need some money and stability to make a good game (or release a game at all).

Other than that, the benefits are strictly corporate for exclusivity and fanboyism.

Maybe there's more to it than that, but that's all I can think of in a couple minutes.
 

bender

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As long as they're still given freedom and not pressured, and not killed off, I'm ok.

It guess that more often than not, that isn't the case.



Microsoft and Sony are as guilty of this as anyone.
 

Sejan

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I really don’t think it’s good for anyone for big companies (MS, Nintendo, Sony, Ea, Ubisoft, and the like) to buy up 3rd party developers unless it’s the next step of a truly symbiotic 2nd party relationship or the only way to keep the, alive. Platform holders rarely have the flexibility to innovate or the motivation to take risks. Rote sequels are more likely to be profitable, but rarely leave their well worn paths.

Independent development fosters games that are truly made with love and soul. Outside of a few shining examples of genius, corporate culture drains games of those things that truly make them special. Even when something truly special comes from these corporations, it generally only takes a few sequels for a game to become paint by numbers and lose track of whatever it was that made it special.

The greatest thing that has happened in the last decade for gaming is the opportunity for indie games to flourish and blossom in a truly amazing way. Games like Shovel Knight, Stardew Valley, Hollow Knight, and the like are the most special things to come from the last generations of gaming.
 
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peter42O

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I'm all for the big three acquiring development studios and publishers. Give me more exclusives baby!!! Let's go!!! The best spot is Microsoft and Xbox because of Game Pass. The massive risk of a $100M+ AAA title especially at $70 in this climate isn't exactly that enticing for development studios. Look at Techland going through a lot of development issues. If they had a massive publisher like Microsoft to cover the cost and then add in Game Pass, oh man...at that point, the developer only has to make a good or better game and can take the time to do so.

I'm expecting Microsoft to acquire Paradox Interactive this year and possibly Sega. I don't think that Sony will acquire a publisher but if they did, my money would be on Square Enix but at the same time, since Square Enix loves taking paydays for timed exclusivity and deals in general, im not sure if it would even be worth the money for them.

Speaking of Square Enix, it's very likely that they've accepted another payday. This time for Outriders to put it on Game Pass day one. Since im day one for Outriders, im hoping that it's true. Would be great for me.

This generation is going to be amazing and best of all, we're only four months in!!!
 
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I really don’t think it’s good for anyone for big companies (MS, Nintendo, Sony, Ea, Ubisoft, and the like) to buy up 3rd party developers unless it’s the next step of a truly symbiotic 2nd party relationship or the only way to keep the, alive. Platform holders rarely have the flexibility to innovate or the motivation to take risks. Rote sequels are more likely to be profitable, but rarely leave their well worn paths.

Independent development fosters games that are truly made with love and soul. Outside of a few shining examples of genius, corporate culture drains games of those things that truly make them special. Even when something truly special comes from these corporations, it generally only takes a few sequels for a game to become paint by numbers and lose track of whatever it was that made it special.

The greatest thing that has happened in the last decade for gaming is the opportunity for indie games to flourish and blossom in a truly amazing way. Games like Shovel Knight, Stardew Valley, Hollow Knight, and the like are the most special things to come from the last generations of gaming.
It's a weird thing because lots of indie games can be quality games that sell millions. Not every game has to have AAA budgets and sell for $60-70.

So if an indie studio of 10 people making a $10 game can churn out something really good, why cant a big company with 1000s of employees slice off a section of employees, use the corporate resources and try to do the same? The company's deep pockets can also help push it with advertising and marketing too, while indie games usually are successful just due to the community and forums. You don't see Dead Cells or Hollow Knight ads anywhere.

It's like all these big companies go for Marvel Avengers budget movies. But low budget entertaining films like Michael Moore movies can get fun too. They might only make $50 million sales, but the budget was only $2 million not $200 million.
 

Dream-Knife

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Roblox just went public and their valuation is $45 billion.

PlayStation, Microsoft, and Nintendo are dinosaurs. Individual games are mammals. The next "it" game will be the humans.
I tried to look up what roblox is on YouTube and all I get is kids screeching playing some lego looking game.

Regardless, mobile games pull in insane money too. It has yet to kill traditional games.
 

Sejan

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It's a weird thing because lots of indie games can be quality games that sell millions. Not every game has to have AAA budgets and sell for $60-70.

So if an indie studio of 10 people making a $10 game can churn out something really good, why cant a big company with 1000s of employees slice off a section of employees, use the corporate resources and try to do the same? The company's deep pockets can also help push it with advertising and marketing too, while indie games usually are successful just due to the community and forums. You don't see Dead Cells or Hollow Knight ads anywhere.

It's like all these big companies go for Marvel Avengers budget movies. But low budget entertaining films like Michael Moore movies can get fun too. They might only make $50 million sales, but the budget was only $2 million not $200 million.
The problem is that they are all trying to make the marvel avengers movies and end up making the marvel avengers game instead. They are chasing that huge billion dollar game when they could make something with a smaller budget, aimed at a smaller profit, and likely make a better product at the end of the day. We don’t need 100 AAA games a year- the market just cant support that right now, but the market could probably support 200 A and AA games a year and maybe even make more money overall. Clearly these numbers aren’t accurate overall, but I do think the concept is true overall.
 
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Rhazer Fusion

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I don’t think a lot of buyouts would be good for the industry. Perhaps if a developer is really struggling and needs direction, then maybe it would be beneficial to get bought out or to merge with another company. I can see a few acquisitions here and there, but I’m not sure about the majority of third parties. From my experience, it seems like most “well established” companies don’t really improve with acquisitions. Of course there could be exceptions though.

Also, buyouts normally have to make sense imo. Microsoft buying out Platinum games, D3 or SquareEnix wouldn’t make as much sense as them buying out a Rockstar or EA for example. Their philosophies, vision, structures and ideologies match up better with each other I feel. Sony maybe buying a few Japanese developers could help with funding, bigger budgets and faster release dates, but then that could prevent Japanese developers from supporting and exploring platforms outside of PlayStation as well. I could be a double edged sword.
 

NoviDon

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I don’t think a lot of buyouts would be good for the industry. Perhaps if a developer is really struggling and needs direction, then maybe it would be beneficial to get bought out or to merge with another company. I can see a few acquisitions here and there, but I’m not sure about the majority of third parties. From my experience, it seems like most “well established” companies don’t really improve with acquisitions. Of course there could be exceptions though.

Also, buyouts normally have to make sense imo. Microsoft buying out Platinum games, D3 or SquareEnix wouldn’t make as much sense as them buying out a Rockstar or EA for example. Their philosophies, vision, structures and ideologies match up better with each other I feel. Sony maybe buying a few Japanese developers could help with funding, bigger budgets and faster release dates, but then that could prevent Japanese developers from supporting and exploring platforms outside of PlayStation as well. I could be a double edged sword.
I don't think a big japanese dev/publisher would allow microsoft to buy them, unless they need to be bought in a bankrupt situation and there aren't bidders from other platforms. they would take less money from sony and nintendo before they accept an offer from microsoft. because MS has never made serious inroads in Japan, and Japanese companies would want to stay under native leadership. In an acquisition war, MS can outbid and buy up much more of the market than Sony, but Sony would have the advantage of relations with Japanese devs, and having a very strong brand in europe as well would make the playing field more competitive. Because at the end of the day these publishers/studios have a choice in who they decide to sign the dotted lines with.
 
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Akuji

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How did that turn out for Stadia? MS did it for the Initiative and Turn 10. But trying to start 8 studios with no history from scratch would have been dumb and overly risky. They know what they’re getting with Bethesda and that makes the return on investment more palpable.
Also who made your crystal ball, Jim Ryan?
Why would studios like Tango, Arkane or Machine games suddenly disappear?
Stadia didnt put that kinda money into it, nobody did put this money into their game studios mabye nintendo and look what they have. Sony to a lesser extend also is putting alot more ressources into their studios.
and this is for their whole buisness history, NES to now, its the only way to do this it seems.

Yeah why do studios like bioware, west wood, visceral, rare, blizzard, Lionhead or neversoft disappear or losing alot of quality?
I dont know but history tells us most likely they will. Some stay strong after being bought but its not the norm.

if microsoft can handle them well and they produce quality games i happily play them ( on pc ) but i dont have my hopes up to be honest. which is not terrible for me, outside of ID games i never really enjoyed bethesda games anyway.
 

Greggy

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Stadia didnt put that kinda money into it, nobody did put this money into their game studios mabye nintendo and look what they have. Sony to a lesser extend also is putting alot more ressources into their studios.
and this is for their whole buisness history, NES to now, its the only way to do this it seems.

Yeah why do studios like bioware, west wood, visceral, rare, blizzard, Lionhead or neversoft disappear or losing alot of quality?
I dont know but history tells us most likely they will.
Some stay strong after being bought but its not the norm.

if microsoft can handle them well and they produce quality games i happily play them ( on pc ) but i dont have my hopes up to be honest. which is not terrible for me, outside of ID games i never really enjoyed bethesda games anyway.
I disagree. Tango, Machine Games and Arkane were bought by Bethesda and only thrived after acquisition. Moreover, Microsoft is not changing anything structurally to how those teams operate. They are all still under Bethesda and take their direction from the same people. There is no visible obvious reason why the Microsoft acquisition should compromise those studios if the Zenimax/Bethesda acquisition didn't. If anything they are now free of any financial stress and with the 15 studios MS has internally, there won't be much time pressure on them either. This looks like a win/win partnership between Xbox and Zenimax if I've ever seen one.
 
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Three

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amalgamation is never a good thing. You don't want consolidation because the whole point of consolidation is to force a consumer to spend at your stall and if the company was not struggling you gain nothing. You even lose choice.