With the EU approving the major $7.5 million dollar acquisition of Bethesda by Microsoft, the deal is finally done.
Over the next few weeks, we can expect more news coming from the two companies with regards to their future. Indeed, at the time of writing (9th March), Bethesda's Instagram account confirmed the acquisition.
It is, presently, the second largest video game industry acquisition ever, at least in capital terms. The purchase gives Microsoft at least a further eight studios in their ever-expanding stable.
In terms of the mainstream and console gaming market, the importance of this deal cannot be overstated (and yes, technically Todd Howard has managed to sell Skryim to Microsoft, hardy har).
However, in that gap between knowing and not knowing, we can indulge in some informed speculation. The highest tier of which deserves to be called 'predictions' - reasoned conjecture about what is going to happen.
All of these predictions seem to be within the realms of possibility, and also, fairly plausible directions this mega-deal could take. Here's what we can expect from the Microsoft/Bethesda merger.
8. Game Pass Bolstered With A "Bethesda Collection"
There are already a few Bethesda titles on Game Pass, however, following the acquisition, you can expect a great many more, if not all of their back catalogue.
More than likely, these can be included and sectioned off for marketing purposes, in the same way that EA Play titles are available through Game Pass but designated differently.
Anyone who keeps even wavering attention on Microsoft should know how important Game Pass is becoming for the brand. To have a full suite of games to add in one go as a 'Bethesda Collection' is a real win, from their point of view.
Just think: the three console Elder Scrolls games; Fallout 3, New Vegas, 4; all current Wolfenstein titles; both Dooms; Dishonoured and its sequels/spin offs; Prey; and so on and so on.
The audience they can capture by making all these titles available on Game Pass is liable to be sizeable, and represents an exquisite marketing opportunity to help smooth over the still ongoing supply chain issues for new gen machines.