Microsoft have announced the acquisition of ZeniMax Media, the parent company of Bethesda Softworks, and has thus expanded its first party portfolio – which had already grown exponentially in recent years – by several major AAA studios in one single move. According to Bloomberg reporter Jason Schreier on Twitter, the deal is worth $7.5 billion.
In the announcement Phil Spencer expresses his excitement at getting to work with Bethesda as part of the Xbox Game Studios lineup. “Over the years I’ve had 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,” Spencer writes. Bethesda’s back catalog will be added to the Xbox Game Pass library.
Bethesda in itself comprises of several major AAA studios, incuding the likes of Bethesda Game Studios, id Software, MachineGames, Tango Gameworks, and Arkane Studios. This also means that the likes of The Elder Scrolls, Fallout, the upcoming Starfield, Wolfenstein, DOOM, Prey, Dishonored, The Evil Within, and Quake have all immediately become Microsoft first party franchises.
Funnily enough, this also means that with GhostWire: Tokyo and Deathloop, Microsoft will be releasing two PS5 timed exclusive games in 2021.
With the likes of Obsidian (whose potential collaboration with Bethesda in the future is a particularly exciting prospect), inXile Entertainment, Ninja Theory, Playground Games, The Coalition, 343 Industries, Double Fine Productions, and now all of Bethesda, Microsoft’s first party lineup is certainly looking ready to enter next-gen.
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