Microsoft has announced the acquisition of Zenimax media in a $7.5 billion cash sale. Zenimax is the parent company of Bethesda Softworks, Bethesda Game Studios, id Software, ZeniMax Online Studios, Arkane, MachineGames, Tango Gameworks, Alpha Dog, and Roundhouse Studios. This gives Microsoft control over upcoming Bethesda games including Starfield which the company says will be available on Xbox Game Pass when it launches on the PC or Xbox.
In a press release, Bethesda expects the deal to be completed by the second half of fiscal year 2021. Microsoft will now have ownership of games like The Elder Scrolls, Fallout, Doom, Dishonored, and Prey. Xbox Chief, Phil Spencer has confirmed Microsoft will honour exclusive deals on ground such as Arkane’s Deathloop and Ghostwire: Tokyo from Tango Gameworks coming to the PlayStation 5 and PC. Spencer also expects upcoming games will come to other platforms outside of Xbox on a “case-by-case basis.”
This news comes as Microsoft gears up for the launch of its Xbox Series X and Series S on November 10th. The acquisition of Zenimax brings Microsoft’s first-party studios to a total of 23 from 15.
On the future of Betheseda, Pete Hines Marketing head wrote, “we’re still working on the same games we were yesterday, made by the same studios we’ve worked with for years, and those games will be published by us.”