Bethesda and its many series will soon become Xbox Game Studios works, as Microsoft has entered into an agreement to acquire ZeniMax Media and its properties for $7.5B. Yes, with a B.
"Today is a special day, as we welcome some of the most accomplished studios in the games industry to Xbox." said Phil Spencer in a news post. "We are thrilled to announce Microsoft has entered into an agreement to acquire ZeniMax Media, parent company of Bethesda Softworks."
The move will see Bethesda's many talented studios immediately brought into the fold with Xbox Game Studios. This includes Arkane, Bethesda Game Studios, id Software, Tango Gameworks, and more, as well as series such as DOOM, The Elder Scrolls, Fallout, and Dishonored, among many others.
Here's more from Spencer:
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. 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.
It's unclear right now whether games already in the works, such as The Elder Scrolls VI, Starfield, and others will still be made available on other platforms at launch, similar to how The Outer Worlds launched everywhere after Microsoft acquired Obsidian Entertainment, but like the prospective The Outer Worlds 2, which is likely to be announced and released someday, it seems far-off games from the Bethesda umbrella will be made two things: Xbox and PC exclusives as well as Game Pass launch titles, empowering the Xbox brand like nothing else ever has.
The acquisition is, in no uncertain terms, one of the biggest moves in the history of video games. Microsoft has been addressing its first-party problem for years now, and before we've even seen the fruits of labor from its 15 studios, Spencer and company have swung big and added eight more teams. The next generation is shaping up to be an arms race.