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Microsoft is reportedly thinking about launching a PS5 version of Hellblade II

hellblade 2

On Tuesday, Microsoft shocked the game industry yet again with the news it was closing three of its Bethesda Softworks game development studios (Arkhan Austine, Tango Gameworks, and Alpha Dog Games), Another Bethesda studio, Roundhouse Games, will be merged with ZeniMax Online Studios.

Microsoft has still not officially announced how many team members will lose their jobs. Some of Betheda's own team members went on social media Tuesday to express their disappointment and even anger at Microsoft's decision.

In the midst of this latest downsizing at Microsoft Gaming, The Verge is reporting, via unnamed sources, that the division's executives are debating on whether or not to make some changes to help revenues. While Microsoft reported that the Xbox division had a huge 62 percent increase in revenue for its last fiscal third quarter of 2024 compared to the same time last year, the vast majority of that increase was because it added revenue from Activision Blizzard, which was acquired by Microsoft in October 2023.

The Verge said that Microsoft executives are discussing whether or not to add the latest Call of Duty games to its Xbox Game Pass service. It was assumed that when Microsoft bought Activision Blizzard in 2023, we would see many of the games from that company added to Xbox Game Pass. So far, the only one that has been added is Diablo IV in March. The same report also says Microsoft is thinking about raising prices on Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscriptions.

Today's report says some Microsoft Xbox executives fear putting in Call of Duty games on Game Pass may cut into the total amount of revenue those games could generate versus releasing them as stand-alone premium game titles.

Perhaps the most interesting rumor concerns Senua's Saga: Hellblade II. The action-adventure game from developer Ninja Theory is due to be released for Xbox, PC, and Game Pass on May 21 as a first-party Xbox Game Studios title. The Verge says that the game is one that "Microsoft has been considering for the PS5" console at some point. Microsoft has already released four former exclusive Xbox-PC games to other platforms earlier this year.

Microsoft will be holding its Xbox Game Showcase event in just over a month on June 9, Hopefully we will get some clarity on what the company plans for the future of its gaming division at that time, if not before.

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