Weekly Round Up

Micorsoft Acquires ZeniMax and Bethesda

On September 21, Microsoft announced that they acquired ZeniMax Media for $7.5 billion. ZeniMax Media is the parent company that owns the publishing arm of Bethesda Softworks and their development studios.

This deal will include all and future titles like Elder Scrolls, Doom, Fall Out, Dishonored and Prey to go under the Xbox Studios brand along with the companies that developed them. Microsoft will be utilizing these brands, for of course, future development and to increase the Game Pass library. Future games will release Day-1 on Game Pass.

Deathloop and Ghost Tokyo Wire will remain as PS5 exclusives and this deal with Microsoft honors those contracts instead of superseding them. As for upcoming titles going to Switch or PS5, it’s been repeated that it’s “on a case-by-case basis.” However, Starfield, may be an Xbox and PC exclusive according to Jeff Corden with Windows Central.

Microsoft now has 23 internal studios and a publisher under their umbrella and reunites the Fallout franchise with the teams behind Fallout: New Vegas and the original 2 entries.

Amazon Luna – New Cloud Gaming Service

On Thursday, Amazon threw their hat in the gaming scene with the a cloud gaming streaming service. Similar to Xcloud and Stadia or earlier than those like Onlive, users can stream a library of content to their smartphone, computer or FireTV.

Moving closer to a Netflix like service, gamers can access “channels” to subscribe for a monthly fee of $5.99. At this moment only Luna+ (Amazon’s channel) and Ubisoft are available but over time they would like to have channels beyond publishers aka RPG channel or sports channel.

A special Luna controller can be used otherwise the Xbox, Dual Shock 4, other PC controllers or mouse and keyboard are compatible.

Amazon’s cloud technology capabilities are competitive with that of Microsoft’s which goes back to their competition for a Pentagon contract last year. Now the gloves are off with Stadia, Xcloud and now Luna each service operates uniquely and this who Microsoft was preparing to compete when they pushed Xcloud and Gamepass this year. Luna’s main edge is their support on iOS not through the app but through Safari still miles ahead of the competition. The big Silicon valley companies are fighting for streaming because the music and video industry went that way and they don’t want to the last for the gaming scene.

The service is currently available under Early Access and can be signed up for a request on their site.

 

Microsoft Breaks Preorder Records

Microsoft broke records regarding the preorders for the Series X |S while at the same time as retailer websites and the Microsoft store broke.

Microsoft announced a head of time when and where people can preorder their next-gen systems and organized it as thorough as possibly but met a demand of pre-orders that were beyond the original Xbox, 360 and Xbox One.

Microsoft thanked fans and were humbled by the demand and reminded those who didn’t get to preorder to sign up to retailers for more updates.

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Realistically, it’s hard to predict the demand of new consoles. You expect a large amount but can never ensure they will be met as consumers race to be the first in line. Consider that on top of COVID-19 most of these pre-orders and sales will be on done online, ergo, the best a company can do is announce a release date and sites where people can purchase within a respectable window ahead of time.

 

Epic Games, Spotify and Tile and Others Join To Challenge Apple

Apples ongoing battle with Epic Games has brought in other developers on the latter’s side consisting – Spotify, Tile (the parent company of Tinder), Match Group, Basecamp, Blix and Deezer was announced on Thursday. Back in August, Tim Sweeny did mention that he was trying to form a group to combat Apple’s store policies and this is the result.

The Coalition mentions three major issues regarding Apple’s policies: 30% cut of payments sold goes to Apple, anti-competitive policies regarding alternative apps and restricting innovation on IOS. To contest with these concerns, a ten-point plan is on their website. Ranging apps store exclusivity to freedom for developers being able to communicate directly to their user base through their apps.

The group is actively requesting other developers to join no matter the size if it is an independent developer to a company.

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