The ongoing FTC v. Microsoft court battle he $68.7 billion merger of tech giant Activision isn’t necessarily going the way the Federal Trade Commission or antitrust activists would like, but the attempt to block the merger has also allowed some juicy gossip to leak out about some of the moves. companies plan to produce in the coming years.
One of those redacted emails confirmed that Activision is just one of several companies that have seen the “NG Switch”. The email shows that Activision CEO Bobby Kotick met with Nintendo president Shuntaro Furukawa to discuss the next-gen Switch. He was the first to bring the news The Verge.
The vast majority of the document is redacted, but one paragraph reveals that in December of last year, Nintendo at least circulated a large study of what to expect from the new Switch console. Activision wrote:
Given the closer alignment with the gen8 platforms in terms of performance and our previous PS4 / XboxOne offerings, it’s reasonable to assume we could do something compelling for the NG Switch as well. It would be helpful to have early access to development hardware prototypes and be able to do it well and on time.
Reports revealed this during Gamescom last month Nintendo has shared the Switch 2 development kits with some key partners. The rumor mill has it The company will release its new Switch sometime in 2024. It might retain the LCD display and be backwards compatible with older Switch games, but there are very few concrete details for anyone who isn’t Activision to think about.
Another one of them files released during the discovery shows several screenshots of first-party games that Microsoft has previously released or plans to release in the coming years. The document refers to both of Arkane’s RedFall and Bethesda Star field. The most notable development is to note that now that Bethesda is under Microsoft’s big, shadowy first-party developer tent, the company has stated that the release date for The Elder Scrolls VI is still to be determined, but is expected by 2026 or later.
Star field is currently limited to Xbox and PC, and is highly unlikely to see a PlayStation release anytime soon. The same goes for Bethesda’s next big open-world game in its venerable fantasy series. In the document, the company used a GQ interview of 2021, when Xbox boss Phil Spencer said: “To be on Xbox, I want us to be able to bring the complete complete package of what we have. And that would be true when I think about Elder Scrolls 6.”
Bethesda first announced The Elder Scrolls VI back in 2018, years before Microsoft announced it was buying Bethesda’s parent company ZeniMax Media for $7.5 billion in March 2021. The release date isn’t all that surprising considering how long it’s been. Star field was under the hood. It wasn’t until this month that the company released star field, which was in development even before the game’s announcement date in 2018. We wouldn’t be surprised if today’s pre-teens are in high school before they finally get the hours of their lives into the next Elder Scrolls.
But there is good news for Xbox players. According to another leaked document, Microsoft plans to expand its Game Pass service to allow gamers to stream PC games over the cloud. Currently, the service only supports streaming titles on Xbox consoles. Any PC titles had to be downloaded to the PC itself before they could be played.
The emails go back to 2021, with Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella speaking to Spencer and other company heads and saying he “assumes” the company plans to do more with Game Pass on PC. This interview with Spencer revolved around Google Stadia, but that was years before that premature termination of service in January 2023. All that remains speculation that the company could eventually offer PC games via streaming, which would now offer direct competition to Nvidia’s GeForce, a service for playing games you own via the cloud on the company’s own devices.
other documents similarly, they reveal surprising snippets of some of the gaming industry titans’ business plans over the past few years. One even shows that Microsoft had proposals to buy Sega’s game studios to “help accelerate Game Pass.”
In July, California Judge Jacqueline Scott Corley ruled against the FTC despite its request for a preliminary injunction that would have blocked the $68.7 billion acquisition, but the agency has since appealed. The documents were released after the judge granted the FTC’s request for additional evidence related to the ongoing legal battle. All the documents were revealed on September 15th and you can find a lot of them here.