Microsoft buys Bethesda parent company ZeniMax Media
It looks like Doom, The Elder Scrolls, Fallout, and Starfield will be Xbox/PC exclusives from now on.
Microsoft has been on a shopping spree in terms of game developers the last couple of years, as studios like Double Fine, Ninja Theory and Playground are now a part of Xbox Game Studios. With all due respect to those developers, that's nothing compared to today's announcement.
Phil Spencer, the Head of Xbox, has confirmed that Microsoft has bought ZeniMax Media and, with that purchase, the company has acquired Bethesda Softworks.
This means that Bethesda Game Studios, id Software, Arkane, MachineGames, Tango Gameworks, ZeniMax Online Studios, Alpha Dog, and Roundhouse Studio are all now a part of Xbox Game Studios, so it sounds like the next Fallout, The Elder Scrolls VI, a new Wolfenstein and more might be Xbox console exclusives.
Spencer also says that we'll see the results of this acquisition long before those games launch, as many of Bethesda's beloved franchises will make their way to Xbox Game Pass in the coming weeks and months.
Quite the surprise, despite the rumours of Microsoft spending a lot of cash on a secret deal. I doubt many of you even thought of Bethesda as a candidate, especially because Sony has said that the company's Deathloop and Ghostwire Tokyo will launch exclusively on PlayStation 5 next year. We'll see if that's still the case after this astonishing announcement.
Finally, it's worth noting that the deal is still pending and the agreement between the companies is for a $7.5 billion cash sale.