Microsoft has announced its acquisition of Bethesda Softworks for $7.5 billion, taking ownership of major franchises such as Elder Scrolls, Fallout, Wolfenstein and more.
This is one of the biggest acquisitions in gaming history, with Bethesda/Zenimax Media having previously been one of the biggest third-party publishers in the business. Now, it will exist under the Microsoft umbrella as a number of first-party developers.
Some of Bethesda’s biggest properties include The Elder Scrolls, DOOM, Fallout and Wolfenstein. It also works on Dishonored, Prey and The Evil Within with Arkane Studios and Tango Gameworks.
Microsoft has acquired a number of studios in recent years such as Playground Games and Obsidian Entertainment, but this is easily its biggest one to date, and marks a major investment in the Xbox ecosystem when it comes to first-party exclusives and the library expected to be available on Game Pass moving forward.
“We can’t think of a better group of people to do that with than those at Xbox. We have friendships that go back to those original days. From Phil to his senior leaders to developer support, they don’t just talk about putting players first, they passionately live it, ” said Bethesda’s Todd Howard of the acquisition.
Head of Xbox Phil Spencer also touches on the massive announcement on Xbox Wire and what it will mean for players moving forward: “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 said. “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.”
Microsoft has confirmed that Bethesda’s portfolio of titles will be coming to Xbox Game Pass, and all major games moving forward will launch on the service upon release for active subscribers. This makes the appeal of Xbox Game Pass and its neighbouring benefits such as Project xCloud fairly substantial, showcasing that Xbox is immensely serious about the next generation.