Microsoft Purchases ZeniMax Media, Parent Company of Bethesda Softworks, id Software, Arkane Studios, and MachineGames
On September 21st, Microsoft announced that it is acquiring ZeniMax Media, the parent company of Bethesda Softworks, id Software, Arkane Studios, MachineGames, and more, for $7.5 billion. These studios produce many high profile games, such as Elder Scrolls, Fallout, Dishonored, Quake, Wolfenstein, Doom, Starfield, The Evil Within, and Prey.
Notably, Microsoft’s ownership of Bethesda means that Microsoft will now own the studio publishing PlayStation 5 exclusives Deathloop and Ghostwire: Tokyo. Although Microsoft will honor the exclusivity of the PlayStation 5 exclusives, it is possible that other future games produced by the acquired studios could be exclusive to Xbox and PC. Microsoft has also stated that games produced by its studios will be available on its Game Pass service from launch.
This acquisition may play a role in forward thinking consumers’ decisions whether to purchase an Xbox Series X or a PlayStation 5. The possibility of games such as Bethesda’s long awaited Elder Scrolls VI being an Xbox exclusive may sway some consumers to Team Xbox.
These latest acquisitions follow Microsoft’s purchase of Minecraft for $2.5 billion in 2014. After its purchase of Minecraft, Microsoft continued the tradition of the MineCon event. Now that Microsoft owns Quake, we will have to see if QuakeCon continues as well.