The Daily Moot: Microsoft Buys BethesdaNews Picks
1. Microsoft Buys Bethesda
Microsoft announced today that they have purchased ZeniMax Media, the parent company of Bethesda Softworks. This means that franchises such as The Elder Scrolls, Fallout, DOOM, and Quake will all be under the Microsoft banner going forward. Microsoft explained that this new partnership “starts with a commitment to deliver a breadth of amazing games to discover and play on Xbox,” which suggests that many of Bethesda’s most popular games may very well be Xbox exclusives in the future. Furthermore, Xbox head Phil Spencer also said that Bethesda’s existing library will be added to the Xbox Game Pass and that Microsoft intends to “bring Bethesda’s future games into Xbox Game Pass the same day they launch on Xbox or PC.”
2. EA Origin Renamed EA Origin, the PC game launcher for Electronic Arts, is being renamed to “EA Desktop App.” According to EA, the company is changing the name in an effort to create “a common and consistent brand that is centered around EA and what EA stands for.” While that’s all fine and dandy in theory, it seems like a strange goal to have considering the gaming community’s general vitriol for EA as a whole. Aside from the new name, EA Desktop App will also make improvements to “create a more frictionless, fast, socially-oriented experience.” No rollout date for the EA Desktop App has been released yet, but EA says they have already begun registering users for a closed beta.
3. Life is Strange 2 Now Free Life is Strange 2 Episode 1 is now free to play on all platforms. Although considered a sequel, Life is Strange 2 follows an entirely different set of characters than the original game, although it shares many of the same themes and devices. While this will certainly be good news for fans of the first game who have yet to try the second, it isn’t particularly surprising considering that developer Dontnod made the first Life is Strange free indefinitely back in 2016. Unfortunately however, only Episode 1 of Life is Strange 2 is free right now, meaning you’ll have to purchase the other 4 episodes if you want to experience the complete story. https://lifeisstrange.square-enix-games.com/en-us/games/life-is-strange/free
4. No Man’s Sky: Origins No Man’s Sky will be getting its next major expansion this week. Called Origins, developer Hello Games described the upcoming expansion by saying that it “won’t be our largest update, but it is the start of something.” Of course, this doesn’t really shed any light as to what exactly Origins has in store, but considering that it’s designed to be “another small step in a longer journey,” it seems likely that Origins will merely set the foundation for future content instead of introducing a ton of new content itself. Hello Games has yet to announce a concrete release date for Origins, but the expansion is expected to arrive sometime this week.
5. Halo 3: ODST Master Chief Collection Halo 3: ODST will soon be joining the Master Chief Collection. The Master Chief Collection is an impressive menagerie of Halo remasters designed to take full advantage of PC capabilities, implementing a wide array of improvements such as variable frame rates, ultrawide support, and customisable key bindings. The Master Chief Collection now includes Halo: Reach, Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary, Halo 2: Anniversary, Halo 3, and Halo 3: ODST. Halo 3: ODST will officially go live tomorrow, while the final game in the collection, Halo 4, is set to arrive “later in 2020.”