Microsoft acquires Bethesda for $7.5 billion

Microsoft has acquired Bethesda and all associated game studios. Microsoft will acquire franchises such as Doom, Fallout, Wolfenstein, Quake, The Elder Scrolls and Dishonored. The studios will be added to Xbox Game Studios.

Microsoft has reached an agreement to acquire ZeniMax Media, the parent company of Bethesda Softworks that includes all game studios. Microsoft is paying $7.5 billion for the acquisition, which is approximately $6.4 billion. The acquisition is expected to be completed by the middle of next year

Bethesda is both publisher and developer of numerous games and has a total of 2300 employees at various studios. All become part of Microsoft. These include studios such as ID Software, Arkane and MachineGames. It’s the studios that in recent years have made games under the Bethesda flag in franchises like The Elder Scrolls, Fallout, Wolfenstein, Doom, Quake, Dishonored, Prey, Starfield and more.

Microsoft is releasing all of its own games through Game Pass for Xbox and Windows, so that means that all new games in the aforementioned franchises will also be available for consoles and the PC as part of the subscription. Whether that also applies to existing games is not certain. Microsoft maintains that Bethesda supported its Game Pass subscription early on. Several Bethesda games were or are already available through the subscription.

Microsoft announces the acquisition a day before the Xbox Series X and S are to be ordered. These consoles can be pre-ordered as of Tuesday morning 9:00 am UK time. Microsoft is betting heavily on its Game Pass subscription to engage gamers. Tweakers wrote about this last week in a preview of the next-genconsoles.