This article was contributed by Andy Martin who works as a freelance writer for various clients in the technology, gaming and real estate sectors.
When Microsoft acquired Zenimax in 2020 and Activision Blizzard in 2022, a great disturbance was felt in the gaming force. Most notably experienced by Sony fans, the purchase of these companies by Microsoft meant that PlayStation owners would soon be locked out of big franchises like Doom, The Elder Scrolls, Overwatch, Fallout, and many more.
Back on Xbox, the consolidation of so many games and series onto the Xbox and Windows platforms has some profound implications for the future of console and PC players. Fortunately, most of these developments will be positive for Xbox fans, though developments for the greater gaming ecosystem might not be so simple.
More Console Games on PC
One of the most player-friendly approaches adopted by Microsoft in recent years has come from how it increasingly pushes its first-party Xbox games to PC. Halo: Infinite is a great example of this, allowing players from both platforms to game together, which you can read about at Bit Tech.
This doesn’t just let players engage how they want; it also creates a larger player base, which keeps games alive for longer. With more studios under its belt, we’d expect to see this level of communication only grow.
On a more technical level, more players moving to PC could also necessitate a more complicated inclusion of Microsoft’s PC gaming platform alongside more established names like Steam. Acting in the PC space means the system could be more open to bad actors and outcomes like password theft and malware attacks.
As highlighted in this ExpressVPN article on the most common passwords around the world, people who aren’t especially engaged in the PC space can resort to basic passwords like “iloveyou” and “passwort”. Players moving from console to PC for the first time are going to have to learn to avoid pitfalls like these, to remove avenues of attack that aren’t as pronounced on Xbox.
Working so closely with PCs should also ensure that the Windows versions of games are better optimized than they would have been before the acquisition. Though Zenimax’s and Activision Blizzard’s titles tend to not be as problematic as the releases from names like Ubisoft, this is still encouraging for those who choose to buy PC games at launch.
Dedicated Console Player Problems
For the types of players who focus entirely on consoles, Microsoft’s acquisitions could be less positive. Those who own all major consoles, for example, might have preferred to purchase certain titles on PlayStation because they feel the console’s controller is superior for that genre. If Microsoft locks games to their system, players won’t have this choice.
Issues could also arrive with a lack of console-to-console crossplay. Crossplay has only gained steam in the last few years, as readers can explore here in this Game Daily article, where removing PlayStation’s access to titles would rapidly apply the brakes. Smaller communities mean online games die out faster, and no player wants that.
While the acquisitions have already been completed, it’s still too early to see the coming changes in action. Note that games already in development during the acquisitions might still hit their originally intended consoles, so the most profound developments could be years away. Until then, we’d caution readers to expect a spectrum of changes, both good and bad. If you’re yet to buy a gaming machine, consider your next purchase carefully, as whatever happens, the environment is about to drastically change.
About the author
Andy Martin works as a freelance writer for various clients in the technology, gaming and real estate sectors. He is a University of Leeds graduate. He studied New Media and now writes search engine optimized content for agencies around the world.