John Carmack and Todd Howard react to Microsoft buying Bethesda


Posts: 6,072   +50
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A hot potato: News that Microsoft will buy ZeniMax for $7.5 billion, giving the Windows-maker control over massive IPs such as The Elder Scrolls, Doom, and Fallout, rocked the gaming industry. Opinions seem split as to whether this is a good or bad thing, but two people firmly in the former camp are John Carmack and Todd Howard.

By purchasing ZeniMax Media, Microsoft will bring Bethesda Game Studios, id Software, Arkane, Machine Games, Tango Gameworks, and more into its stable.

This could spell bad news for PlayStation owners; Microsoft will honor PS5 timed exclusive games including Deathloop and GhostWire: Tokyo, but Xbox boss Phil Spencer says future console releases—as in those not on Xbox—will be decided on a "case-by-case" basis, so games including Starfield and The Elder Scrolls 6 could be exclusive to the Xbox Series X (and PC).

John Carmack, the co-founder of id Software and the lead programmer of Doom, Quake, Wolfenstein 3D, and more, has welcomed Microsoft's move. He was an employee of Bethesda after ZeniMax acquired id Software in 2009, but the relationship turned ugly after he resigned in 2013 and became CTO at Oculus. ZeniMax alleged that Carmack stole trade secrets and was using them to develop the Rift VR headset. It filed a lawsuit against the company, and Carmack later responded by suing ZeniMax for $22.5 million. The matter was finally settled in 2018, but the bad blood remains.

"I think Microsoft has been a good parent company for gaming IPs, and they don't have a grudge against me, so maybe I will be able to re engage with some of my old titles," tweeted Carmack.

The idea of Carmack returning to work on some of the franchises he co-created is an exciting one, but it's all just talk right now.

Todd Howard, director and executive producer at Bethesda Games, is equally enthusiastic about the deal. He says that Microsoft would help share the studio's "deep belief in the fundamental power of games," calling the company Bethesda's "longest, and closest partner."

"Like our original partnership, this one is about more than one system or one screen. We share a deep belief in the fundamental power of games, in their ability to connect, empower, and bring joy," Howard wrote. "And a belief we should bring that to everyone - regardless of who you are, where you live, or what you play on. Regardless of the screen size, the controller, or your ability to even use one."

Giving Microsoft so much power over the gaming landscape is a concern, but the good news for PC owners who subscribe to Xbox Game Pass for PC is they'll be able to play titles from ZeniMax's subsidiaries on launch day, which is another good reason to sign up. There's also the enticing possibility of Fallout: New Vegas 2.

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Posts: 1,633   +926
Question is will Microsoft still keep the games mod friendly or not. My bet would be the later.
I doubt that. Microsoft's history is one of not caring what a studio does, so long as they are making butt-loads of money. I wouldn't be surprised to see some 'formalized' tools made available - like how Halo Forge is 'formalized' - but I doubt they will be dumb enough to put any fan-made content behind a paywall (at least as a blanket Microsoft policy; can't speak for an individual studio making a stupid decision down the line)


Posts: 19   +4
Question is will Microsoft still keep the games mod friendly or not. My bet would be the later.
They are likely to keep mods as they did not remove them from Flight Simulator. How mods and things work for those on consoles may be a different story.


Posts: 1,717   +363
I'm sure that Carmack refers to the efforts to create VR versions of his old games. He'd love to help with that. I don't envision him working on new games.

Question is will Microsoft still keep the games mod friendly or not. My bet would be the later.
My bet would be on Microsoft keeping that support. Minecraft at least has remained open, and even the Bedrock version supports tinkering.

Peter Farkas

Posts: 456   +244
Please don't mess up Doom, It has been the best experience for me in the last few years (beside Elite: Dangerous). Doom is very well optimised, with a great vibe and atmosphere. Please keep continuing the current vision for Doom! Please Satya Nadella, pleaseeee! :)


Posts: 33   +6
Microsoft = makes great software with lots of bugs
Bethesda = makes great software with lots of bugs

Perfect marriage..
so what is a human marriage?
People = make great software with lots of bugs.

When are you millions and millions of trollers going to face reality?


Posts: 233   +225
Question is will Microsoft still keep the games mod friendly or not. My bet would be the later.
I don't think they would screw with part of what actually sells the game..good news is maybe just maybe they will update the crappy old engine with microsoft pushing some nice DX graphical enhancements.
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Posts: 27   +5
Knowing Microsoft's record with buying up the competition, the competition gets BURIED. Knowing Microsoft's record of burying the competition, their customers gets BURNED.

Tom Sunday

Posts: 25   +4
Am I missing something with all of the mergers and new acquisition talks? Its all about consoles and the big push into this segment of the gaming industry and it's $$$ billions of expected revenues. Bad news even for PlayStation owners? Corporate politics prevailing, Microsoft will gracefully honor PS5 timed exclusives? Future non Xbox console releases are kept in limbo. But the big worry is how all of the console talk and new business development will impact PC gaming? Microsoft is of the opinion that consoles are the absolute future.They are betting on it! Microsoft already confirmed that they expect a huge performance increase with the Series X's GPU and which is significantly faster than the vast majority of PC video cards. Only beat by NVIDIA's RTX 3080, a card that's far above the average gamers' reach. Notably, both next-gen consoles will support hardware accelerated ray tracing with more realistic lighting and water reflections. I would think that the new series X being exclusively marketed towards console enthusiasts may run $500 plus (Merry Christmas) and of course a 2-year contract commitment of $20 per month to even play. So am I whistling "Dixie" in planning the purchase of a $4500 fully decked-out gaming rig for example versus a $500 all-in-one equal? And or will gaming PCs no longer serve their purpose? What really are the few real viable remaining advantages left to stay with a full-fledged gaming PC given the latest console advances? As to John Carmack I have no worry for him as is networth as of today is about $50-million and very soon about to increase sharply. WTF?
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