Bethesda, one of the world’s best-known game studios, has just been acquired by Microsoft along with everything else parent company ZeniMax Media owns.
Executive Producer at the studio, Todd Howard, released a statement on their website about the acquisition .
I have also had the pleasure of working with, and partnering with, many of the best gaming and tech companies in the world. But our longest, and closest partner during my career, has been Microsoft.
According to various sources , the Xbox/Bethesda acquisition has cost Microsoft somewhere around $7.5 billion.
Xbox also announced that Game Pass subscriptions has just hit 15 million, and doesn’t show any signs of stopping now that Bethesda’s catalogue will presumably soon be available . When Microsoft said they weren’t interested in fighting the console wars anymore, they weren’t lying.
One of the biggest benefits for the Xbox Series X is just how many games the console will now have with Game Pass.
Bethesda, as a publisher, conssists of eight studios including Id and Arkane. That means any future Doom and Dishonoured games may be exclusive to Xbox Series X, and will at least go straight to Game Pass on release. There’s also the fact that PS5 exclusives like Deathloop and Ghostwire: Tokyo are owned and published by Bethesda , which is now owned by Microsoft.
You can hear more about the acquisition in the video below. Needless to say, the $7.5 billion is probably going to pay for itself in a few years.
Surprisingly, there is a lot of excitement at the prospect of Bethesda being owned by Microsoft now, primarily from Xbox fans. One of the strongest positive reactions is to the possibility that Obsidian could be given access to the Fallout license again after Fallout: New Vegas was a cult hit.
Lots of the reaction has been reserved for the PlayStation vs Xbox fanboy war in the lead-up to next-generation consoles. Many Xbox fans are seeing the acquisition of Bethesda as a big blow against PlayStation , and it’s hard to disagree with them.
While Bethesda can be an awful company at times, they make a ton of money and own a lot of hot IPs. Under Microsoft’s ownership, it’s easy to see how the acqusition will prove great for the Xbox Series X, and the Xbox ecosystem as a whole.
The biggest question being asked about this acquisition is just what it means for Bethesda games on other platforms. Typically when a company becomes owned by a gaming platform, their games would become exclusive to that platform. Microsoft has shown in the past that this isn’t always necessarily the case.
Back in 2014, Microsoft purchased Mojang, the creators behind Minecraft . Despite being owned by Xbox, the game is still available on pretty much every platform and still received regular updates on those platforms too.
With that president being set, how Xbox will handle owning so many beloved IPs isn’t known . It’s entirely possible that everything from the next Doom, to Elder Scrolls VI, will still be available on PlayStation consoles.
Either way, Microsoft will make money.
The future of gaming just got a huge shake-up, and it’s going to be interesting to see how Sony might choose to respond to this move.