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Just a few hours ago, Xbox social media accounts – led by Head of Xbox, Phil Spencer – dropped an absolute bombshell, just 24 hours (or less, in some regions) prior to the opening of pre-orders for the next gen Xbox consoles.

Microsoft have acquired ZeniMax Media, owner of Bethesda Softworks – a company which itself is made up of studios such as Bethesda Game Studios, id Software, ZeniMax Online Studios and Arkane, among others. This means that it’s very likely we’ll see future instalments of enormous franchises such as The Elder Scrolls, Doom, Fallout and others being Xbox console exclusive – which is absolutely earth-shattering news for the industry.

Though there’s the predictable few industry commentators and fans decrying exclusivity of such popular franchises as bad for the industry, there’s no doubting that this is a smart move for Microsoft and the timing is absolutely stunning. This will very likely prove to be enormous for them from a commercial standpoint – as well it should be, given that the deal reportedly cost an eye-watering $7.5bn.

Even if the games do remain console exclusive to Xbox, it’s important to remember that Microsoft is also committed to bringing their games to PC and Game Pass, with Game Pass now being available to access on pretty much any non-Apple mobile/tablet device via XCloud. Day and date Game Pass release has also been confirmed, which is another hugely impressive move that adds stunning value to the streaming service.

The news has social media on fire with comments, speculation and excitement – which should see demand for pre-orders, starting tomorrow, skyrocket. It’s a very, very exciting time to be a gamer right now, regardless of where and how you’re playing.

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