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ZeniMax lobbied its studios to add microtransactions to games

TO new bloomberg report confirms what gamers have long thought to be true: ZeniMax Media insisted that its studios add microtransactions to new games.

Report: ZeniMax lobbied its studios to add microtransactions to games 1

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ZeniMax Media has some of the best-selling franchises on the planet. Bethesda’s beloved series are known everywhere; from The Elder Scrolls and Fallout to id Software’s legendary Doom, these games are powerful single-player experiences that sell tens of millions of copies.

However, single player games suffered from interruptions. The emerging games-as-a-service industry model had triggered a paradigm shift in the industry, with publishers standing to earn hundreds of millions, or even billions, of dollars from microtransactions and seasonal live service content. ZeniMax broke into this market with The Elder Scrolls Online in 2014, and since then we’ve seen multiple franchises pivot towards live services, including the controversial Fallout 76, the multiplayer-driven Wolfenstein Youngblood, and even Doom Eternal. Now the trend continues with Redfall, which has been considered by critics as one of the worst games of 2023.

A new report from Bloomberg’s Jason Schreier indicates that this shift toward microtransaction GaaS titles was made at the behest of ZeniMax Media and not necessarily the development teams that created the games.

Sources tell Bloomberg that ZeniMax had insisted that developers inject some sort of long-term monetization options into their games. However, it is clear that this was not a strict rule and that ZeniMax did not force its teams to add purchases of live services to the games.

This is made apparent by Redfall’s lack of microtransactions or any kind of in-game shop. Instead, the game is being sold as Microsoft’s first $69.99 first-party game and includes a paid upgrade with expansion content.

Until now, ZeniMax’s live service efforts have faced significant growth issues. Some games like Elder Scrolls Online and Fallout 76 have enjoyed significant comeback stories and redemption arcs, with the former drastically changing its scope to become one of the most played MMORPGs on the market, and the latter enjoying a massive fan base. dedicated.

But other live games, like Arkane’s recent game Redfall, currently remain at the bottom of the list.

It’s also worth noting that ZeniMax currently operates as something of an independent entity and is not part of the Xbox Studios banner. While Microsoft owns ZeniMax, the group is essentially its own operating unit, and he wonders what other game-as-a-service titles the company might be working on.

There are indications that ZeniMax Online, the team that created The Elder Scrolls Online, is working on a new online IP of some kind.