Microsoft Has Acquired Bethesda Parent Company ZeniMax Media

Microsoft Has Acquired Bethesda Parent Company ZeniMax Media

Richard Walker

Microsoft has just announced a huge deal, which will see Xbox acquiring ZeniMax Media, parent company to The Elder Scrolls, Wolfenstein, DOOM, Prey, Dishonored, Wolfenstein, and Fallout publisher/developer Bethesda Softworks. The agreement sees Xbox taking on all of Bethesda Game Studios' affiliated developers including id Software, Tango Gameworks, MachineGames, Arkane, and others.

"Bethesda’s games have always had a special place on Xbox and in the hearts of millions of gamers around the world," writes Xbox boss Phil Spencer in the announcement on Xbox Wire. "Our teams have a close and storied history working together, from the amazing first DOOM, and its id Tech engine, innovating games on PCs to Bethesda bringing their first console game to the original Xbox, the groundbreaking The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind."

Spencer notes that he's held "many deep conversations with the creative leaders at Bethesda on the future of gaming and we’ve long shared similar visions for the opportunities for creators and their games to reach more players in more ways," which has apparently led up to this monumental acquisition for Xbox. The deal will also see Bethesda's back catalogue added to Xbox Game Pass for console and PC.

"Like us, Bethesda are passionate believers in building a diverse array of creative experiences, in exploring new game franchises, and in telling stories in bold ways," Spencer's statement continues. "All of their great work will of course continue and grow and we look forward to empowering them with the resources and support of Microsoft to scale their creative visions to more players in new ways for you."

According to Bloomberg reporter Jason Schreier, Microsoft is paying $7.5 billion to acquire Bethesda/Zenimax Media, and the deal now sees both Bethesda and Obsidian under the Xbox umbrella. That means Fallout: New Vegas 2 could be a distinct possibility. Deathloop and GhostWire Tokyo will remain timed PS5 exclusives, but future titles like Starfield and The Elder Scrolls VI could now be Xbox exclusive (but likely won't be).

  • The next gen console wars just got spicy. Doom, Elder Scrolls, Fallout all as X-Box exclusives will definitely push sales in Microsofts direction.
  • Don’t think MS would make Elder Scrolls or Fallout Xbox exclusive as they haven’t done the same with Minecraft. I think this more shows Xbox trying to bolster the games they now have the right to offer under GamePass
  • They'll get the massive PC sales for years and years now.
  • What!!!! That's a huge buy. Yeah they may not make the games exclusive but each game on psn means Microsoft still makes money. They also could make remakes. They could even give the fallout IP back to Obsidian
  • Microsoft will not make any current Bethesda ips exclusives. They understand that like Spider-man, the character and universe are beloved to more than just owners of one particular console family. Also, Microsoft has been very consumer-friendly in the past few years, Bethesda, not so much, so this is a good thing.
  • Im still hoping for a Morrowind HD remaster or remake. 20th anniversary is coming up in a couple years.
  • Can't wait to see what kind of bullshit they pull to try to recoup that $7.5 billion. They'll expect us to foot the bill, after all...
  • Not a popular opinion I'm sure, but the idea of Microsoft not making these XBox/PC exclusive irks me. If it was Sony who acquired them, it's a pretty safe bet that they would bar future games from XBox. There's far too many games on Playstation that I'd love to play but can't, many of which aren't even available on PC or Playstation Now.
  • I suspect the will lead to timed exclusives rather than full exclusives for the titles we know as bethesda don't just do a lot of business on playstation but also started putting everything on switch aswell so there's a good chunk on value. Would be shocked if there weren't at least a couple of exclusives though.
  • @7 The Xbox One sold $1bn in 3 days. With 2 consoles on the horizon, and the addition of GamePass on top, they'll make it back in no time.
  • @8 Microsoft and other pro-consumer company like CDPR are what we, as gamer, need. That gatekeeping of entertainment just separate us. But it's true if it was Sony who purchased Zenimax Media, it would be exclusive. Sony and EPIC GAMES are the worse thing to happen in gaming in the recent years with the exclusive deals and anti-Steam / monopoly setup. Funny how we think back at this and it was Microsoft doing the same with Tomb raider 1 year exclusive. Now they are the pro-consumer company. Don't bite the hand that feed.
  • Holy shit this is crazy. Prey 2, Fallout New Vegas 2 and Rage 1 Remake please!
  • @2 Exactly that, MS stands to make a shit load of money by owning these companies and letting the games still go on other platforms. The Xbox users get the perk of being able to play all the games via game pass on day one, I know that GP was a big deal for me when The Outer Worlds launched because I had an emergency that ate up all the money I was going to use to buy it. I still bought The Outer Worlds a month later but I got to play it day one thanks to game pass, having titles from Bethesda on there will boost game pass sales.
  • Fuck Bethesda, buy CDPR
  • @8, While you're correct in your statement about Sony, Microsoft not making those games Xbox exclusive is actually a win for them and those who follow Xbox. Remember, Microsoft is making money off of other platforms by allowing those games to be on those different platforms. You don't need to be an Xbox owner for Microsoft to make money. That money then gets recycled back into more games and services for us. Plus this paints Microsoft in a favorable light, whereas Sony is seen to be stingy, paranoid, and restrictive even though their motto ironically is "play has no limits."
  • I could see them supporting Steam releases for everything still, and some select games still going to Playstation depending on how far along they are in development. But I don't think they'd let all these franchises continue to be multi-plat. Minecraft is unique, and they tested the waters with some of the Switch releases they did but that seems mostly over. I do expect to see most games from Bethesda be Xbox/PC only though in 2-3 years. Bethesda, inXile, and Obsidian. Whew. If you like Western RPGs, Microsoft is the place to be. I hope this doesn't mean they've given up on JRPGs though...
  • @16, makes you wonder about Elder Scrolls 6, I mean that is still 2-3 years away, Imagine the ruckus it would cause if it were to be Exclusive to Xbox, I see it more a timed-exclusive, but we will see. Man this is exciting lol
  • This was just tweeted by Jason Schreier To answer the question everyone is asking: Phil Spencer tells @dinabass that Xbox plans to honor the PS5 exclusivity commitment for Deathloop and Ghostwire: Tokyo. Future Bethesda games will be on Xbox, PC, and "other consoles on a case by case basis."
  • This is a big dick move by Microsoft. I’d love for them to say fuck Sony and make elder scrolls 6 exclusive but that probably won’t happen. This will change the landscape of the future though.
  • presumably, Bethesda`s games are very expensive to produce, so drastically limiting your player-consumer base doesn`t seem like a good idea...on the other hand, MS didn`t fork over 7.5B to make EVERYONE happy. hard to say exactly what`s going to happen here.
  • A lot of you should stop staying that MS will continue to let Besthesda IPs stay multiplat. You all don't know what's gonna happen with that. They could very well pull everything from the PSN Store and rightfully so. It will be their IPs. Then again, they may do like you all are speculating. Let's just wait and see.
  • @18 that's not really a confirmation on ANYTHING. It's more corporate speeky than giving answers. If they meant all these to be multiplatform to stuff like the switch and ps5, they'd say it outright instead giving a answer that boils down to "yes...but also no"
  • About time Microsoft did something about all the exclusive games Sony keep rubbing their faces in. Microsoft would be completely stupid to allow every game to go to ps5 as well as xbox, but on the other hand allowing games on ps5 is $ in their pocket so they will be smart about it. I would leave everything multiplatform except a couple of really big system sellers, Elder Scrolls and Fallout i would keep exclusive.
  • @15 Where's the evidence for this? Microsoft have been letting their IPs onto competitors platforms for years now and what do we, Xbox owners, have to show for it? There have been zero decent exclusives this year, meanwhile PlayStation get gems like Fall Guys.
  • They may not make future games in these titles Xbox exclusives, HOWEVER I think this will mean that if Playstation ever actually gets a real PS Game Pass going these games will never appear on there. Subscription game services are the future and having Fallout, Elder Scrolls, Doom, and others on Xbox Game Pass but never on the Playstation version will be a huge boost to Xbox.
  • @24 fall guys isn't funded by sony and they've already said they plan to put it on other platforms. But you can keep salivating to twitch stream b8 tier video games
  • @2 The difference with Minecraft, is Minecraft was already on the Playstation at the time Microsoft purchased Mojang. Likewise there are already current games on the PS4 that Bethesda has. I'd bet that future releases, just as Phil Spencer said, "Will be evaluated," in regards to being on other platforms. I can see Elder Scroll 6 possibly going exclusive, or the next Fallout.
  • @24, None of my statement was laid out as some sort of fact to require evidence. You also played fill in the blanks with your own narrative to my statement. I just stated what's obvious. A game on multiple consoles will likely sell better than a game on one console. Microsoft doesn't have to sell Xbox's to make money on games. Even if that weren't true, For every ZeniMax game that gets sold on the Playstation or Switch, Microsoft gets a cut, plain and simple. I never said the money gets put into exclusives like you claim I stated... I said that money then gets recycled back into more games and services for us.
  • To elaborate on what I mean about how the money gets recycled back into games and services for us... That could mean maybe a dead IP from the ZeniMax library gets resurrected. Or maybe a game from the ZeniMax library that hasn't seen a sequel in years, now gets one. Or maybe games not in the Backwards compatible catalog from the ZeniMax library, now joins that list. Even if these aren't exclusive, that's still more games, and if that were possible because they had extra money kicking around from sales on other consoles, that a win for us. That's just talking games, and not considering the possibilities for services. Again, none of this is fact. None of this might ever happen, but it can't be denied that more accessibility means better sales, and more money lends to more opportunities, however that may be in the end.
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