Microsoft has completed ZeniMax/Bethesda acquisition, notes ‘some’ games will be Xbox exclusive

Additional Bethesda titles hitting Game Pass this week

This morning, Microsoft officially confirmed that it has completed its $7.5 billion USD acquisition of ZeniMax Media and its subsidiary companies. As of today, Bethesda Softworks, its studios, and range of IPs and licenses are now officially Xbox-owned properties.

“It’s an honor to welcome the eight incredibly talented development studios – Bethesda Game Studios, id Software, ZeniMax Online Studios, Arkane, MachineGames, Tango Gameworks, Alpha Dog, and Roundhouse Studios – and their passionate global communities to the Xbox family,” said Xbox head Phil Spencer in a statement. “Our goal is to give these teams the best foundation for doing their greatest work and to learn from them as we continue to build Xbox into an inclusive platform for all players.”

“This is the next step in building an industry-leading first party studios team, a commitment we have to our Xbox community. With the addition of the Bethesda creative teams, gamers should know that Xbox consoles, PC, and Game Pass will be the best place to experience new Bethesda games, including some new titles in the future that will be exclusive to Xbox and PC players.”

Bethesda’s SVP of Marketing, Pete Hines, also offered a statement on behalf of the publisher, whose portfolio is stacked with popular brands such as Doom, The Elder Scrolls, Fallout, and Wolfenstein.

“First, let me say that we’re not making any landmark announcements or changes right now,” said Hines. “As we’ve all shared, the expectation is that Bethesda Softworks and our studios will continue as we have in the past, just with more support and resources than we’ve ever had before. Obviously, Game Pass has been an important initiative for Xbox, and we’ll be working on putting even more of our games into Game Pass than ever before. Beyond that? Stay tuned, we’re just getting started together.”

Xbox declared that the celebrations will begin later this week, with the arrival of several additional Bethesda releases to the paid subscription service, Xbox Game Pass. Going forward, players can expect game/brand exclusivity to be approached on a “case-by-case” basis. While Microsoft has made it clear in the past that it does not wish to horde all of its new wares for itself – let’s face it – they didn’t just drop $7.5 billion for nothing.

In the meantime, it’s simply a matter of waiting and watching, as only time will tell how this huge merger – one of the biggest in industry history and made at the dawn of a whole new generation of gaming – will play out in the long run.

Chris Moyse
Senior Editor - Chris has been playing video games since the 1980s. Former Saturday Night Slam Master. Graduated from Galaxy High with honors.