Microsoft is holding a sweepstakes to give away a set of limited edition, custom Bethesda-themed Xbox Series X/S controllers to promote its recent acquisition of Bethesda Softworks.
Earlier this month, Microsoft finalized its $7.5 billion to acquisition ZeniMax Media, Bethesda’s parent company. The deal also gives Microsoft ownership over Bethesda’s sub-studios, including Wolfenstein developer MachineGames, Dishonored creator Arkane, Doom developer id Software, and The Evil Within Studio Tango Gameworks. A few days after the purchase’s completion, Microsoft revealed that 20 of Bethesda’s biggest and most recent games would be added to the Game Pass library.
The sweepstakes promotes the acquisition as well as the arrival of Bethesda’s games on Game Pass. Microsoft announced the event on Twitter. All fans have to do to enter is retweet the announcement with the hashtag #XboxBethesdasweepstakes, follow the official Xbox Twitter account, and make sure their personal account is set to public. They must also be 18 years or older. Fans have until 7 p.m. PT on April 16 to retweet the announcement for a chance to win the prize.
Only one winner will be selected to win the prize, which includes seven limited edition controllers and a chest adorned with the Xbox and Bethesda logos. Each of the controller designs were inspired by one of Bethesda’s franchises, including Fallout, The Elder Scrolls, Wolfenstein, Doom, Dishonored, Prey, and The Evil Within. Microsoft estimates that the prize is valued at $399 total, though it is easy to imagine that fans would pay more if the controllers were to ever be auctioned off on the internet.
Xbox boss Phil Spencer recently said that the main reason behind Microsoft’s acquisition of Bethesda was developing more exclusives for platforms with access to Game Pass. This affirms what many PlayStation fans had feared since the purchase was first revealed last year: that future Bethesda games would only be released for PC and Xbox consoles.
However, this does not necessarily mean that all Bethesda games will never arrive on PlayStation, as Spencer clarified that Xbox would respect all commitments Bethesda made before the acquisition. Arkane Studios’ upcoming Deathloop, for example, will still release as a PlayStation exclusive. But other big upcoming titles, such as The Elder Scrolls 6 and Starfield, will likely only be playable for gamers with access to Game Pass.
While it is unfortunate that PlayStation players may not be able access most future Bethesda games, the Microsoft-Bethesda deal is a boon to anyone with a Game Pass subscription. Microsoft’s sweepstakes is bound to attract even more attention to the deal, if all gamers were not aware of it already.
Microsoft's overarching business plan for its Xbox Series X|S consoles isn't too difficult to decipher. The company has a clear vision to get as much of its player base onto their Game Pass service as possible, with hopes that the platform will have similar success to Netflix or Disney+. Microsoft's advertising and promotion of the service has become far more aggressive in recent months, with numerous titles being frequently added and further day one releases being promised, such as Square Enix's Outriders.
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