• Daniyar Kylyzhov

Microsoft acquired ZeniMax Media, the parent company of Bethesda Softworks. Deal value $ 7.5 billion

On September 21, 2020, Microsoft posted on its blog the largest expansion of its gaming portfolio in history. The company bought ZeniMax Media, and with it Bethesda Softworks. The deal is worth $ 7.5 billion, three times what Microsoft paid for Mojang and its Minecraft product in 2014.

The parties plan that the deal, which is now the largest in the global video game industry, will be closed on June 30, 2021. The amount of the transaction was confirmed by sources of the Verge publication.

Some facts of this event were also reported by Bloomberg journalist Jason Schreier.

Microsoft will become the owner of all ZeniMax Media divisions. The Xbox Game Pass library will include current and new studio and publishing projects:

  • Bethesda Softworks;

  • Bethesda Game Studios (titles: The Elder Scrolls, Fallout, Starfield);

  • id Software (titles: Doom, Quake);

  • ZeniMax Online Studios (Title: The Elder Scrolls Online);

  • Arkane (titles: Dishonored, Prey (2017), Death loop);

  • MachineGames (Title: Wolfenstein);

  • Tango Gameworks (titles: The Evil Within and Ghostwire: Tokyo);

  • Alpha Dog (manufacturer of mobile gaming applications);

  • Roundhouse Studios (Prey (2006), RPG, Shooter, Adventure).

Following the completion of the deal, Microsoft will increase its gaming holdings from 15 to 23 studios and publishers. The company will have 2,300 employees, many of whom are developers of well-known franchises. Bethesda Softworks management will remain in place after the deal. Under the terms of the deal, no changes will be made to the structure of the publishing house.

Notably, Microsoft announced the deal ahead of the release of the next-generation Xbox Series X and Series S consoles in early November this year and about a day before the start of pre-orders for the Xbox Series consoles. Microsoft will begin accepting pre-orders for the Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S game consoles on the morning of September 22nd. You can leave a request on the game portal from 10:00 Moscow time.

Microsoft did not clarify in a statement whether ZeniMax Media's projects will be exclusives to Xbox and Windows 10 PCs or will continue to be distributed to other platforms, including Sony PlayStation consoles.

In any case, the company has a new trump card over its competitor Sony - a global update of the Xbox Game Pass service with new and future games from publishers acquired today. Currently, the number of subscribers to the Xbox Game Pass service has exceeded 15 million users.

Bethesda Game Studios CEO Todd Howard explained that the deal with Microsoft will allow studios to create even more interesting and engaging games. And the companies themselves have extensive experience of cooperation since 1999 after the preparation and release of Morrowind on the Xbox.

After voicing the facts of the deal, some users realized that now Obsidian and Bethesda have one owner. They wanted to know about the fate of Fallout: New Vegas 2. The developers at Obsidian answered them in a simple way.

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