Microsoft has purchased game publishing company Bethesda Softworks, giving the Xbox company the rights to games including The Elder Scrolls and Fallout for $7.5 billion in cash.
Through the deal to purchase ZeniMax Media, the Xbox maker will become the owner of one of the private game developers and publishers, according to Gamebyte.
The acquisition move means that Bethesda Softworks, Bethesda Game Studios, id Software, ZeniMax Online Studios, Arkane, MachineGames, Tango Gameworks, Alpha Dog, and Roundhouse Studios now fall under the Microsoft umbrella.
In a statement on the acquisition, Xbox says the following: “Today is a special day, as we welcome some of the most accomplished studios in the games industry to Xbox. We are thrilled to announce Microsoft has entered into an agreement to acquire ZeniMax Media, parent company of Bethesda Softworks.”
“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. 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 wrote in its announcement.
Microsoft cited its focus on growing cloud gaming service Xbox Game Pass, which has 15 million subscribers, as one motivation for the deal. Bethesda games, including Fallout 76, are already available on the service. More will be added to Game Pass and eventually the publishers new releases, including upcoming space epic Starfield, will be available on the service the same day the launch on Xboxes and PCs.
Today is a special day… We are THRILLED to welcome the talented teams and beloved game franchises of @Bethesda to Team Xbox!
— Xbox (@Xbox) September 21, 2020
The Redmond, Washington, tech giant will also grow its portfolio from 15 creative studios to 23 through the acquisition. The publisher’s studios include Bethesda Softworks, Bethesda Game Studios, id Software, Arkane, Alpha Dog and Roundhouse Studios.
“Gaming is the most expansive category in the entertainment industry, as people everywhere turn to gaming to connect, socialize and play with their friends.Quality differentiated content is the engine behind the growth and value of Xbox Game Pass — from Minecraft to Flight Simulator. As a proven game developer and publisher, Bethesda has seen success across every category of games, and together, we will further our ambition to empower the more than three billion gamers worldwide,” said Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella.