Microsoft has agreed to a acquire ZeniMax Media and its game publisher Bethesda Softworks in a deal worth $7.5 billion in cash.
The acquisition of Bethesda bodes good news for the Xbox ecosystem — especially for 15 million of their Game Pass subscribers — as it brings popular titles like Doom, The Elder Scrolls, Wolfenstein, Fallout, Starfield, Prey, Dishonored and The Evil Within to the platform.
“As a proven game developer and publisher, Bethesda has seen success across every category of games, and together, we will further our ambition to empower the more than three billion gamers worldwide,” said Satya Nadella, CEO, Microsoft. “Gaming is the most expansive category in the entertainment industry, as people everywhere turn to gaming to connect, socialise and play with their friends. Quality differentiated content is the engine behind the growth and value of Xbox Game Pass—from Minecraft to Flight Simulator.”
What does this mean for Bethesda and PS5?
Phil Spencer told Bloomberg that Xbox will honour Bethesda’s commitment to PS5, which means Deathloop and Ghostwire: Tokyo will release as planned for Sony’s new gaming console in 2021.
However, future games from Bethesda will release on Xbox and PC, while other consoles will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
“Generations of gamers have been captivated by the renowned franchises in the Bethesda portfolio and will continue to be so for years to come as part of Xbox,” said Phil Spencer, Executive VP, Gaming at Microsoft.
“This is a thrilling day for this company, our employees, and our fans. We have enjoyed a close partnership with Microsoft for decades, and this deal is a natural progression of those years working together. The big winners today are our fans. We are continuing to develop our slate of AAA games, but now with Microsoft’s scale and entire Game Stack, our games can only get better,” said A. Altman, Chairman and CEO of ZeniMax Media.