Fallout 76: Microsoft & Bethesda

I’ve been committed to Microsoft since Windows 3.0 and even participated on a couple Microsoft projects because the company I worked for was a Preferred Vendor. I began developing Windows applications using Visual Studio 1.0 (with AFX framework, C/C++) which kind of sucked, but subsequent VS versions (with MFC, Visual C/C++, Visual Basic) to be great dev products. Also, I’ve used all Microsoft Office products exclusively even before they were combined as a suite. During the 1990s & 2000s I lived just a few miles from the Redmond campus and visited many times, plus I still have friends who work there. In short, I feel I know this company pretty well, for an outsider, and I’m thrilled that Bethesda has been purchased by Microsoft.

What does it mean? Why would Microsoft do this? In short, what is going on?

I don’t know but there is a lot of buzz right now and one comment I heard (maybe on CNBC?) was that this signals a content gold rush something like Netflix acquiring or creating media content. But who knows? Following is some commentary from a couple of gamers that I follow regularly. I think you’ll find their points of view interesting.

JuiceHead: My gaming style is very different than his but he has so many great insights that he’s become one of my most trusted voices. Here’s his latest:

InnovSurvivalist: She’s another high level player who brings a great deal of insight to her reporting. She does extensive testing of virtually every feature of the game and here’s what she says:

Microsoft’s Phil Spencer is a visionary and executive behind the Xbox. And Xbox is an idea that seemed like an odd child back in the beginning, but today it is a strong contributor to Microsoft’s success. I didn’t even buy my first Xbox 360 until Christmas 2014, but have since bought Xbox One S and X, and am in the queue to order Xbox Series X.

I’ve always felt Bethesda’s visionary, Todd Howard, had an ego that was cashing checks he couldn’t cover but the guy has proved me wrong. It’s hard to heap too much praise on him though because the Fallout series (I have FO3, FONV, FO4 and FO76) is plagued with defects and all manner of anomalies. But this is the guy who delivered FO4 and FO76 Wastelanders and I have come to respect the challenges he has overcome to achieve these successes. And in thinking about several comments about the Zenimax board (owns Bethesda), I suspect he’s had his hands full, but now, Howard works for Microsoft.

So: HUGE CONGRATULATIONS TO TODD HOWARD!

But I suspect Microsoft’s approach to product development will help Howard avoid embarrassments like launching Fallout 76 as a Beta. (Yeah, Microsoft used to sell Windows 3, 95 and a whole lot of other products that were closer to being Beta than production software, but they learned how to improve quality a couple decades ago. I’m hopeful that with the backing of Microsoft, the financial and marketing demands Bethesda has faced in the past will become a thing of the past.

I hope all Bethesda employees will get on that Microsoft pathway that has led so many software professionals to becoming millionaires. Jus sayin.

About Yordie

I'm an avatar from Second Life and gamer on Xbox. I'm also the author of The Temporal Expeditions sci-fi novel series.
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