In a surprise move that’s arrived only a day before pre-orders open for Xbox Series S | X, Microsoft has announced on the Xbox News Wire that it has acquired Bethesda’s parent company ZeniMax Media in a $7.5 billion deal. This ostensibly gives the American platform holder ownership over blockbuster franchises such as Fallout, The Elder Scrolls and DOOM. There’s no word yet whether future entries into these any of these series will stay multiplatform or go exclusive on Xbox’s platform.
“Today is a special day,” reads the official news post from Head of Xbox Phil Spencer, “as we welcome some of the most accomplished studios in the games industry to Xbox. We are thrilled to announce Microsoft has entered into an agreement to acquire ZeniMax Media, parent company of Bethesda Softworks.”
Today is a special day… We are THRILLED to welcome the talented teams and beloved game franchises of @Bethesda to Team Xbox!— Xbox (@Xbox) September 21, 2020
Read the full announce from @XboxP3: https://t.co/Jn0HcTJ9Mi pic.twitter.com/iQVutgT6zq
Spender adds later in the post: “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.”
Of course, this does lead us to question whether a game like, say, Deathloop that was originally announced as a console exclusive for PlayStation 5 will stay as such, or this deal now in effect reverts that to an Xbox Series S | X exclusive. Either way, this is an unprecedented video game developer acquisition that clearly shows Microsoft’s intention to get off to a good start with the next console generation.