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Microsoft completes $7.5 billion Bethesda acquisition

By Christian Imperio Published Mar 09, 2021 11:36 pm

Microsoft has completed the acquisition of Zenimax Media, the parent company of Fallout and Doom maker Bethesda Softworks.

First announced in September last year, the completion of the $7.5-billion deal brings the number of development studios under Microsoft’s stewardship from 15 to 23, with the acquisition of Dishonored and Prey creator Arkane Studios, Wolfenstein maker MachineGames, Quake developer id Software as well as ZeniMax Online Studios, Tango Gameworks, Alpha Dog, and Roundhouse Studios.

“Now that everything is official, we can begin working together to deliver more great games to everyone. At every step building toward this moment, I’ve been inspired and motivated by the creativity, insight, and community-first approach of the talented people at Bethesda. Our goal is to give these teams the best foundation for doing their greatest work and to learn from them as we continue to build Xbox into an inclusive platform for all players,” Xbox chief Phil Spencer said in a blog post. 

The company also confirmed that some Bethesda game titles in the future will be exclusive to Xbox consoles and Windows PCs. 

“This is the next step in building an industry-leading first party studios team, a commitment we have to our Xbox community. With the addition of the Bethesda creative teams, gamers should know that Xbox consoles, PC, and Game Pass will be the best place to experience new Bethesda games, including some new titles in the future that will be exclusive to Xbox and PC players,” Spencer added. 

Last year, Spencer said in a Bloomberg interview that upcoming PlayStation 5 exclusives Deathloop and Ghostwire: Tokyo will be restricted to Sony’s consoles “for a fixed period of time before coming to Xbox.” Spencer said that the company will "keep that commitment" and will assess "other consoles on a case-by-case basis."

In a separate statement, Bethesda senior vice president of PR and marketing Pete Hines assured the gaming community that there will be no changes on the company’s operations following the acquisition but said that they will create more game titles for Microsoft’s Game Pass.  

“First, let me say that we’re not making any landmark announcements or changes right now. As we’ve all shared, the expectation is that Bethesda Softworks and our studios will continue as we have in the past, just with more support and resources than we’ve ever had before. Obviously, Game Pass has been an important initiative for Xbox, and we’ll be working on putting even more of our games into Game Pass than ever before. Beyond that? Stay tuned, we’re just getting started together,” Hines said.

Although there are no other major announcements today, Microsoft is celebrating the landmark acquisition by adding additional Bethesda games to Xbox Game Pass later this week.