Microsoft’s $7.5 billion acquisition of zenimax media, the parent company of Bethesda software, was Microsoft’s most expensive game acquisition deal on Monday, shocking the entire industry. < / P > < p > currently, Bethesda is one of the largest game developers and publishers in the industry, developing games such as “radiation” or “scrolls of antiquity”. This raises a simple but important question: is the acquisition of Bethesda in line with Microsoft’s overall Xbox strategy? < / P > < p > the direct reaction of consumers naturally focuses on the competition, and whether the future Bethesda game will become the exclusive product on Xbox. This is a reasonable concern. After all, why buy a large interactive entertainment brand like zenimax if you don’t require exclusivity in a competitive industry like games? But that’s a problem for Microsoft, which tried to compete with Sony for an exclusive game, but ended up lagging behind in the entire Xbox one iteration. < / P > < p > since the launch of the Xbox game pass subscription service, every major publishing decision Microsoft has made in the past three years shows that it no longer considers exclusive rights too valuable, and halo is no longer even the exclusive product of the Xbox platform. Thanks to xcloud, players can play halo on Android phones. The next major version of the series, halo: infinite, will be available free of charge on game consoles and PCs next year. < / P > < p > Microsoft is no longer following the same strategy as Sony, and the company will focus on services and subscriptions, as the acquisition of Bethesda is likely to show more clearly than ever before. Sony has followed a proven strategy of acquiring promising developers and cultivating them over the years to produce large series games suitable for sequels, such as spider man and horizon zero dawn. It also maintains strong relationships with independent Japanese partners, such as from software and square Enix, to help maintain its edge so that new “Final Fantasy” games or “devil’s soul” first appear on PlayStation. < / P > < p > instead, the question we should ask Microsoft is, what does Bethesda bring to Xbox game pass? It’s clear that the acquisition of Bethesda has made Microsoft’s game pass service stronger. On Monday, Phil Spencer, Microsoft’s executive vice president of games, also mentioned game pass in a company announcement post. “Just as they brought the scrolls of antiquity to the original Xbox, Bethesda was also an early supporter of Xbox game pass, bringing their games to new users of different devices, and actively investing in new game technologies such as game cloud streaming,” he wrote. We’re going to add Bethesda’s iconic franchise to the Xbox game pass for game consoles and PCs Todd Howard, director of Bethesda game studios, made a similar point, saying on the company’s website: “it was the vision described by Microsoft that convinced us to join the Xbox platform. Why is it important where the screen or controller is? There are a lot of people who don’t have the same access, and we can bring it to them. As with our initial collaboration, this collaboration is not just about a system or a screen. We all deeply believe in the essential power of games, that they can connect, empower, and bring joy. We should bring this belief to everyone, no matter who you are, where you live, or what you play with. It doesn’t matter what the screen size, the controller, or whether you have the ability to use one. ” < / P > < p > at present, Microsoft has the best-selling game “my world” in history, which can be used on almost all platforms. Microsoft owns “halo”, “war machine” and “force” series copyright. < / P > < p > since 2018, Microsoft has also launched a wave of acquisitions, acquiring the popular RPG game developer obsidian, game studio double fine and video game production company Ninja theory. Now, Microsoft has developers of games like “doom,” “Wolfenstein,” “dishonored,” “death loop,” “fallout,” and “scrolls of antiquity.”. < / P > < p > Microsoft may no longer care about the exclusive operation of games, but it still needs a game studio. First party developers are the lifeblood of game publishers because it allows them to control the release rhythm and better manage budgets and cross franchise resources such as game engines and creative talent. However, for Microsoft, the most important thing at present is to have the final decision on the release. By owning a studio, Microsoft can decide where to sell the game at what price, including giving it away for free as part of its subscription service. < / P > < p > it’s not a wise business move to keep the next version of “radiation” or “scrolls of antiquity” away from ps5, but it’s wise to make sure they’re on game pass. Microsoft has shown that, to a large extent, it doesn’t necessarily care where you play their games. Instead, the goal is to ensure that important new versions of the game are available free on game pass on the day they are released. This is actually Microsoft’s core strategy for the future of Xbox. Take Obsidian’s “the outside world” as an example: the game is released on Xbox one, PS4 and PC. if you’re a game pass subscriber, it’s free to play on windows and Xbox. In this case, everyone is the winner, which may be a strategy Microsoft wants to repeat. In the announcement, Microsoft said it had 15 million game pass subscribers. The average user pays $10 a month, including $5 and $1 time limited subscribers and $15 premium ultimate subscribers, which brings in more than $1 billion in annual subscription revenue. Together with the third-party game revenues Microsoft plans to earn on its Xbox Console and the Microsoft Store on its PC, it will push the Xbox business in a healthier direction. < / P > < p > but there is no doubt that the most important part of this, which can continue to grow substantially, is game pass. Microsoft is likely to double its game pass revenue and have 30 million subscribers. With 50 million subscribers, game pass is estimated to generate an annual revenue of $6 billion, more than three times the revenue of Fortress night last year, close to the annual revenue of Activision Blizzard, which is the third-party game publisher with the highest market value in the industry. The Xbox business may generate only a fraction of hardware sales, but it can still generate staggering cash revenues, which depend entirely on subscription revenue. < / P > < p > this is not to say that Microsoft doesn’t care about Xbox sales, or that it doesn’t care if the first-party game gets back on its budget. Microsoft is likely to be prepared for the uncertain future of the next generation of game consoles, such as using its huge pool of resources (the company’s market value is $1.5 trillion) to maintain game pass operations until it begins to make healthy profits, while taking every measure to ensure that it sells as much hardware and games as possible. < / P > < p > that’s why Microsoft launched the more affordable Xbox series s. After all, the more Xbox devices in the living room, the more potential game pass users Microsoft can sign up for. It may not be a coincidence that Microsoft’s acquisition of zenimax was announced on the eve of the launch of the next generation of Xbox pre orders. For the company, a big acquisition could have a positive impact on the outlook for Xbox and game pass, which is likely to translate into more hardware bookings. < / P > < p > but it’s important that Microsoft doesn’t just look at one path. Microsoft already covers all users and is investing in xcloud in case new business models suddenly appear in the future. < / P > < p > if everything goes according to Microsoft’s plan, consumers won’t talk too much about which company has a better exclusive game or which brand will win the next generation competition. Microsoft may not really care, as long as you continue to pay $10 a month to subscribe to its game pass. After 12 years, “world class Super project” Shantou Bay Tunnel ushers in a historic breakthrough today