In a major move for Microsoft, the company just announced the acquisition of one of the most notable developers and publishers in the industry. It should bolster Xbox Series X in the years ahead.
Microsoft actually purchased ZeniMax Media, the parent company of Bethesda Softworks. It’s one of the largest privately-held companies in the video game industry with over 2,300 employees across a number of different studios.
“Just as they took the bold first steps to bring The Elder Scrolls franchise to the original Xbox, Bethesda were early supporters of Xbox Game Pass,” Xbox Head Phil Spencer said. “We will be adding Bethesda’s iconic franchises to Xbox Game Pass for console and PC.”
“One of the things that has me most excited is seeing the roadmap with Bethesda’s future games, some announced and many unannounced, to Xbox console and PC including Starfield, the highly anticipated, new space epic currently in development by Bethesda Game Studios,” Spencer adds.
The acquisition includes Alpha Dog, Arkane, Bethesda Game Studios, Bethesda Softworks, id Software, Machine Games, Roundhouse Studios, Tango Gameworks, and ZeniMax Online Studios. These studios are responsible for countless beloved franchises: Dishonored, Doom, Elder Scrolls, Fallout, Wolfenstein, Quake, and more.
The immediate impact is that Microsoft is adding Bethesda’s catalog of games to Xbox Game Pass. Which games will make the cut and when they will arrive are details that we do not yet know. If it’s timed with the release of Xbox Series X, it could give the system a needed boost.
Long term, it will be interesting to see if Microsoft opts to make these games Xbox exclusives. It’s notable that they did not mention exclusivity in the announcement. I could actually see them eventually releasing these games on PlayStation 5. We’ll have to wait and see.