Xbox acquires Bethesda and exclusive rights to eight major franchises

Bethesda

Yes, you did read that right. In an industry defining move earlier today Microsoft announced it is acquiring ZeniMax Media and Bethesda Game Studios. This move sees eight major Bethesda game franchises fall under the ownership of Microsoft. Furthermore, they could all become Xbox exclusives depending on how the American technology giant approaches development.

The eight notable franchises Xbox has gained ownership of are DOOM, Dishonored, Fallout, PREY, The Elder Scrolls, The Evil Within, Starfield, and Wolfenstein. Many of these series have active games in development, with the biggest by far being The Elder Scrolls VI. It was teased a couple of years back, but we’ve seen no new information since then. It’ll be interesting to see if it ends up being an Xbox exclusive or not.

The acquisition of Bethesda

Elder Scrolls bethesdaMicrosoft’s acquisition of the popular American games publisher alongside ZeniMax is rumored to have cost $7.5 billion. To put that colossal number into context, that’s three times what it paid to acquire Minecraft developer Mojang.

In a post written by Bethesda PR vice president Pete Hines, the developer states this opportunity allows it to make “even better games going forward.” Also, Hines believes Microsoft can provide “access to resources that will make us a better publisher and developer.”

Given the rough patch Bethesda is going through, a change in direction was probably needed. The disaster that was and is Fallout 76 has been difficult to overcome for the developer, but this switch up of approach could help. Hopefully, with the backing and funding of Xbox Bethesda can get back to developing industry defining RPGs.

What do you think about this bold move by Microsoft? Are they justified in doing this or is the acquisition of Bethesda a bad move for industry competition? Let us know in the comments what you think and if this will pay off long-term.

RUMOR ALERT: Bethesda’s Elder Scrolls VI Project on the Horizon?

Bethesda's Elder Scrolls VI Project

Has The Time Come for The Next Chapter in Bethesda’s Elder Scrolls Franchise?

It’s 2017 already. Thus, marks the beginning of year 6 since the Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim has been released. Although, sure…you can argue and say the October 2016 release of the remastered version of Skyrim for the next-gen consoles and PC counts. But, it’s not the release we really were excited for. Bethesda for the most part have been hush-hush on opening coming out and saying the Elder Scrolls VI project is in the works. But, just because they haven’t said it doesn’t mean they haven’t been hard at work on it.

It’s clear that Bethesda doesn’t need to follow the popular trends to be successful. They’ve paved their own path to success and it continues to work well in their favor. They’re never in a rush to release sequels to popular games. Unlike, some other companies. I’ll leave names out of it but they know who you are (Hint…Call of Duty).

Bethesda aims to please. They strive to create the best possible game no matter the time is takes to do it. Just look at the gaps in years between sequels of some of their games; Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion to Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim took 5 years. Dishonored to Dishonored 2 took 4 years. Fallout 3 to Fallout 4 took 7 years. Shall I go on?

Time means very little to the developers at Bethesda. However, is anyone complaining? The results speak for themselves. ($750 million in sales for one day during the release of Fallout 4)

Official Unofficial Hints

Being completely direct, in an IGN interviews with Studio Head Todd Howard after 2016’s E3 conference, Howard said that Bethesda will be making a new Elder Scrolls game. I know—lets the cheers rain down!

However, that’s about all that has been official when talking about the next instalment of the Elder Scrolls franchise. Howard never said Bethesda was currently working on the game current though. Which, for a lot of us sounds like more waiting. Sadly, that’s the truth. But just how far away are we from getting our next fix of the Elder Scrolls?

The Waiting Game

It’s safe to say that none of us shall expect another Elder Scrolls game in the next couple of years. Studio Head of Bethesda, Todd Howard, has said that the Elder Scrolls VI development is “very long off” from any kind of release. As you may already know, the Elder Scrolls huge world design is not a simple feat to accomplish. Especially now that the next-gen consoles have introduced the stunning 4K formatting.

Bethesda has stated after Dishonored 2 dropped in late 2016, that they’re working on 2 huge projects that much like the size of Skyrim and Fallout 4. These 2 games will  be released before the Elder Scrolls VI project will be.

If Skyrim was any indication of how advanced Bethesda is looking to expand and improve-on means, we could be getting next-level pioneering in effects and gameplay as a result! You know…when it does come out.

The Conclusion

As for me, all I can say is it’s going to be a journey to its release. I don’t expect to TES6 to be released until 2019 at the earliest. Maybe at 2017’s or 2018’s E3 Conference we’ll finally be told much more about the future of Elder Scrolls VI. Until then, keep playing gamers.

Is Fallout 4 This Generation’s Must Own Game?

The open world genre has been blessed with another strong entry. After experiencing such great worlds in The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt and Metal Gear Solid: 5 The Phantom Pain could we really delve into another so soon? Using the beautiful backdrop of Boston, Fallout 4 has a world like no other reaching into the cities rich history with iconic landmarks scattered throughout the game. Already it seems that more people are open to this world with over 12 million copies sold within the first 24 hours thus making it the biggest entertainment launch this year. Call of Duty held this title for measly week making over $500 million dollars but Fallout 4 obliterated all competition making over $750 million dollars. Along with this you have rave reviews unanimously throughout the industry,  With these in mind you have to consider is Fallout 4 the game of this generation?

Building upon a huge legacy created in Fallout 3, Bethesda have spent around 5 years working on this title. This is easy to see with how large the post-apocalyptic world is. The game play for anyone new to the franchise feels ridiculously easy to pick up with the ability to switch perspectives from first person to third to accommodate anyone fussy like myself. Previously picking up Fallout 3 I could never really get into the swing of things. Here though I am completely hooked with exploration, missions and crafting keeping me occupied for days. I can quickly see these days turning into weeks. The control layout seems more open to newcomers too. This was a feature in Fallout’s last outing that discouraged me. This time it seems easier to pick up with its more simple approach.

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Still retaining its hardcore roots we have a deep crafting and leveling up system that for anyone willing to invest time can be very rewarding. The freedom of the planet itself is both good and bad with the main mission of rescuing your son Shaun becoming quickly forgettable with no real pressure being applied for not pursuing. Discovering what this world has on offer is the real charm of the game with experience been rewarded for finding new towns and settlements. Without a doubt this is Fallout’s best feature. That sense of discovering. What could be over that hill? I wonder what’s in that building? These explorations unravel some extraordinary moments where from nowhere you can go from quiet wandering to full on assault with ginormous monsters. You are totally outgunned but for some reason you still think you can win.

A special trait of Fallout is that the difficulty setting is not really applied. If you want to journey into the dangerous part on the map,  you immediately can. You’ll most likely die instantly but feel free to attempt. This is brilliant, keeping you submerged in the world at all times. Voice acting is a great addition giving players more of an insight into their character and how they behave. The many options you can pick in dialogue can really distinguish what sort of person you wan to be. Yes this is nothing new but it’s done extremely well that it needs to be appreciated.

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Now there are some flaws to note. Sadly another trait of Bethesda’s is that their releases are normally ridden with bugs and glitches. This is normally quite a hit and miss situation as some players can go through the whole game not experiencing anything of the sort; Others are not so lucky. So not to beat around the bush, yes this game has bugs and yes there may be some frustrating moments especially if a save file is corrupted (however this seems a very small percentage), but for what is on offer it is absolutely worth the risk. Every day patches are being uploaded to reduce the problems. Fallout 4 is a game that will be around for a long long time so you can guarantee it will be improved continuously. Though this does not excuse Bethesda for releasing another bug ridden game and is something they must make a priority with all future releases.

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For anyone purchasing a new console this year or the next or even the year after. Fallout 4 will most likely be the main title people point to if you are looking for a superb action RPG with a diverse world to explore. Things may change over time but right now I would say to anyone who owns a console that this game must be part of your collection. Everyone has their own journey, Everyone has their own stories and everyone has their own Fallout. This is most certainly mine.

What do you think of Fallout 4? Do you think it is a must own game? Leave us a comment below to tell us why.

Fallout 4 Total Lines May Be More Than You Suspect

Fallout 4

Fallout 4

Bethesda Softworks, the developers behind the much acclaimed franchises like Fallout and The Elders Scrolls, has announced that Fallout 4 will have more than 111,000 lines of speech, and just so you have an idea, that’s more than Fallout 3’s and Skyrim’s total amount of lines combined.

Bethesda Game Studios tweeted:

“Many years of #Fallout4 voice recording complete! Just over 111k lines. More than Fallout 3 and Skyrim combined.”

One of the main reasons for multitude of speeches in the game is that, for the first time, the protagonist of the game will actually speak, and because of the huge size of the game, you will have more talking than in previous iletirations.

In the other hand one, of the much acclaimed characters of Fallout 3 known as Three Dog  will not be present in the Fallout 4. This information was confirmed by Erik Todd Dellums, the voice actor of Three Dog, who tweeted saying that he won’t be involved with the the new game:

“I admit, the finality of this tweet felt like a gut punch. Sad to not be included. Best with the game. #ShareLove”

And don’t forget, for more on Fallout franchise and Bethesda Softworks  -related, stay tuned to VGamerZ.

3D Artist Releases His Own Pip-Boy Accessory To The Public

In a recent interview with Gamescom regarding Quakecon, Bethesda’s marketing VP – Pete Hines – revealed that they won’t be able to make anymore more Fallout 4 Pip-Boy Editions due to lack of resources and time, but don’t worry, as we might not need Bethesda in the end.

Yvo de Haas – gamer and fan of the Fallout franchise – was kind enough to release his 3D plans of how to make a Pip-Boy 3000 Mark IV, a.k.a. that phone holder that everyone wants.

This version of the Pip-Boy, like the one from Bethesda – was designed to house a smartphone, meaning that you’ll still be able to communicate with Fallout 4 through a mobile app as your arm will serve as its supporter.

Though the Pip-boy 3000 Mark IV will have its differences from Bethesda’s official model, like the lack of any bell and whistles, but will have a couple of orange leds and will be accepting tapes but they’ll still do nothing.

Yvo de Haas is now trying to create a Pip-Boy version more like the game’s version but won’t be compatible any smartphone so the Pip-boy can have a size more authentic.

This isn’t the first Pip-Boy recreated by Haas, as his was the Pip-Boy 3000 from Fallout 3 and New Vegas.

And don’t forget, for more on Fallout 4 and Pip-boy-related, stay tuned to VGamerZ.

Bethesda And Fallout 4 Special Edition’s Current Situation

As we all know, Fallout 4 Collector’s Edition will come along with the iconic Pip-Boy’s accessory, and because fans of the franchise are constantly cleaning the stock for the pre-order of the product, Bethesda had to admit that they’re too busy to keep its production.

At this weekend’s QuakeCon, Bethesda’s marketing VP – Pete Hines – revealed to Gamescom, when asked about the situation with these special Collector’s Editions of Fallout 4:

“We reached a point where we’d go back to the factories and they were like, ‘guys, this is it, sorry. This is as long as we can run the lines and as many of them as we can make.'”

Hines explained that the manufacturers extended their pipeline to make more Pip-Boys but it cost too much, and the company had to move on.

“We’d go back to [the factories] and say, ‘Demand for this is insane, we’ve got to make more, And they’d move other projects off or shift stuff to other factories and it just came to [them telling Bethesda], ‘Final answer: sorry, this is as many as we can make.”

And to conclude, Hines stated:

“We made a s**tload of Pip-Boys, I think we did more of these things than we did for any collector’s edition we’ve ever done.”

And don’t forget, for more on Fallout 4 and Bethesda-related, stay tuned to VGamerZ.

Over 13,000 Lines Recorded By Each Actor For Fallout 4

Fallout 4 is becoming one of the most promising and anticipated games of the year and Bethesda is fueling the hype train. In a recent interview conducted by The Telegraph with Director Todd Howard, he revealed that both actors Courtenay Taylor and Brian T. Delaney recorded more than 13,000 lines of dialogue each for Fallout 4 in the course of the 2 years the game has been in development.

“A lot of games have voiced characters, but what they don’t want to give up is all the dialogue options,” Howard said “So for us a lot of it was logistical. The voice actors have been recording for 2 years, they’ve each done over 13,000 lines of dialogue. So to be able to do that makes the difference; you still have choice.”

Also since the game allows you to play as either a male or female so Bethesda also changed how the other characters interact with you and the dialogue change accordingly.

“We were lucky to find two great voice actors. And it’s interesting because she may read things or act things differently than he does. So scenes play out differently depending on whether you are playing the game as male or female.”

Fallout 4 launches on PC, PS4, and Xbox One on November 10th, 2015.

Imgur User Posts Pics, Descriptions Of All Fallout Vaults Throughout The Franchise

Imgur User

Of course, since E3 and everybody is waiting for Fallout 4’s release but some people such as imgur user smashpro1 who entertained himself and decided to sink into Fallout 4’s waiting game by gathering pics, locations and the purpose of each Vault ever featured in a Fallout game.

According to the number of pics, there is more than 30 vaults featured in the Fallout franchise and some of them were built for weird purposes like Vault 77, found in Penny Arcade’s official comic, was built “Populated by only one man and a crate of puppets.” as the pic’s description states and Vault 21, found in Fallout: New Vegas, was populated by gamblers and gamblers only which resulted in settling every matter through gambling despite this, Vault 21 is “one of few non-control vaults to not fail.” Bethesda had some interesting Vaults thrown here and there in the Fallout franchise so make sure to take a look at them.

The user made sure to include the Vault that was featured in the Fallout 4 reveal but no details are written under it. Fallout 4 will release on November 10 for the PS4, Xbox One and PC.

Take a look for yourself and tell us if looking back to where this game started and where it is now, made you even more excited for Fallout 4.

Fallout Shelter: An Average But Important Game

Fallout Shelter

Fallout Shelter

You may have noticed that Fallout Shelter, Bethesda’s free-to-play mobile offering where you manage an underground Vault and its dwellers, has been doing rather well lately. It has stormed the iOS App Store charts in many countries, making headlines for knocking mobile legends like Candy Crush off of the top spots.

I have been playing Fallout Shelter since it was released two weeks ago and whilst it has managed to keep my attention, I wouldn’t say it’s a great game. Your job is to build up your vault and populate it either through having your dwellers procreate or by attracting survivors from the Wasteland. You assign them a room to go to and each room will provide a resource such as food, power, water and health packs. From time to time your vault will experience some kind of catastrophe, whether it’s a fire, rad-roach infestation or a gang of randy raiders looking to ruin all your hard work. Shelter is at its best when you only pick it up for five minutes or so; collecting your resources, perhaps building a new room or two and leveling up your dwellers.

Fallout Shelter

But there are so many times where you will have long stretches of not really having anything to do. You won’t have enough caps to build new rooms, no new people in your vault to assign a job to and no new resources to collect from any dwellers you may have sent into the Wasteland. The way the game handles combat is also uneven and unintuitive. One minute you’ll be taking on heavily armed raiders with no problem at all, and the next you’ll be losing half of your population to one, lone roided up rad-roach. What I’m saying is that the game definitely has its issues.

And yet despite these issues, I love Fallout Shelter. Not because of what it is, but because of what it represents. It is a free-to-play game that doesn’t shove its monetisation options in your face at every opportunity. It isn’t pay-to-win; the in-app purchases only provide you with the same items and resources that non-paying users receive. And the prices aren’t extortionate. The most expensive purchase is $19.99; and whilst that isn’t exactly nothing, it’s a far cry from the $99.99 that gets asked for Gold and Gems in games like Game Of War and Clash Of Clans respectively.

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Even at points where you would expect the game to throw up reminders, such as when you try to spend more caps than you have  or when you have a long wait time till your next resource collection, it doesn’t. It won’t suggest purchasing a pack of lunch boxes to maybe get more caps, and there are no purchase options to speed up wait times. The game never forces you to the purchase screen and barely even mentions it. Only when you look for the purchase screen will you find it.

The reason all of this makes me so happy is because Fallout Shelter has done so well; it is in the top charts for many major markets on both iPhone’s and iPad’s. Ok so it isn’t the number one grossing game of all time, but it has made the charts within two weeks with minimal marketing and attracted an audience that normally wouldn’t go anywhere near free-to-play mobile apps.

As of June 29, Fallout Shelter is in the following positions on the iOS Games Charts (data from App Annie):

US, iPhone – No.3 in Free Apps, No. 10 Grossing
US, iPad – No. 15 in Free Apps, No. 24 Grossing

UK, iPhone – No. 4 in Free Apps, No. 10 Grossing
UK, iPad – No. 4 in Free Apps, No. 14 Grossing

You can check out the full stats for yourself at App Annie. These are good numbers, and Bethesda didn’t even need to call in Kate Upton for help or plaster CGI trailers on every single YouTube video in existence.

Fallout Shelter shows that it is possible to deliver a successful game without having to resort to addiction tactics and locking off content behind a pay wall. Bethesda have treated their players with actual respect, as if they’re human beings and not just a vessel housing a wallet. And it brings a smile to my face knowing that there is probably a games analyst at some God-forsaken analytic’s firm looking at the games numbers and going insane because none of it makes sense. How could a game appear from nowhere, with no marketing budget, no pay wall, no ads and no extortionate in-app purchases and still make money and get into the App Store Gaming Top 10?

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This is why Fallout Shelter is important; because it sets an example. It shows that you can make a game that people enjoy, and make money from it without having to be under-handed. Yes, the game had help by being announced at E3 and by being based on an already popular IP, but that doesn’t mean Bethesda had to make it the way it is. They could have easily made the game pay-to-win, or flooded it with ads or made the in-app purchases go up to $100, but they didn’t. They kept it free and fair, and have been rewarded justly.

My hope is that mobile game developers will see this example set by Bethesda, and take it into consideration with their future games. I hope that they see it as an alternative to just trying to squeeze as much money out of players as possible. And maybe, just maybe, we’ll get some better games out of it.

New Details Leak Out About Dishonored 2

Dishonored 2

Dishonored 2

Dishonored 2 was a sleeper hit from Bethesda that sort of came out of nowhere and took everyone by surprise. The deeply ingrained stealth mechanics combined with excellent movement mechanics and Bioshock-like abilities really catered to an impressionable audience at the time. This year, at E3, Bethesda took to the stage to announce the game and throw some details our way. Since the huge announcement, a Bethesda forum user stumbled upon more information about the video game. Take a gander at the details below.

Warning: Possible Spoilers Ahead

Arkane encourages experimentation by preserving the existing systems that allow special abilities to be manipulated.

In a quote from an Arkane employee they referenced the Blink’s ability to be attached to any spot the player could think to apply the ability to rather than having specific attach points. The employee explains that while it would be easier for the team to implement attach points, it’s more important that the player be able to use it how they believe it’s intended. They don’t want to limit the player simply because it’s easier for them to do so. The extent of experimentation was unclear, however, so this will be an interesting point to hear more about in the future.

The crazy shifting house shown in the announce trailer is straight from the game.

If you haven’t seen the announce trailer yet then you can watch it here. In what is easily one of the coolest parts of the trailer, you watch as the grand inventor of Serkonos manipulates and shifts his home to prevent you from reaching him. The in-game objective will play out very similar in that you must kill the grand inventor, or find an alternative way to eliminate him.

There will be enhanced A.I. and greater difficulty.

Details on the increased difficulty were slim, but Arkane stated that they were scaling the difficulty to create more challenging gameplay. Whether that means difficulty will scale simply with preset configurations (easy, normal, hard, etc) or if it will actually scale with the player’s ability is still unknown.

As for the enhanced A.I., Arkane has revamped they way they handle search patterns. In the first game, guards were able to easily be manipulated, but now guards will react more organically. They’ll split up to cover more ground and they won’t recheck the same areas that other guards have already checked. Additionally, they’re more aware of situational circumstances.

“For instance, if two grunts realize they are with an officer who has a ranged weapon, they understand that he should hang back and they should move forward.”

There will be a new game plus mode.

In a growing theme, details were light about what the new game plus mode would entail, but there are a few ideas we can extrapolate from the info dump. First off, there is a “modified high/low chaos system” built into the game, and with this new system comes new direct consequences from your decision. We also know that there are two characters from the game, and the way Arkane talks about the 400,000 bone charm crafting combinations, it sounds like you’ll only be able to play with one character for each play through. Lastly, abilities will be upgradeable which adds more replayability. A new game plus mode usually indicates added bonuses, but we’ll have to wait and see what details Arkane gives us later on.

That just about wraps it up. Nothing huge or revolutionary, but it’s exciting to see that Arkane is packing the game as full as they can with replayable options and heaps of customization. Stay tuned for more details.