Microsoft just bought Bethesda Softworks parent company ZeniMax Media for $7.5 billion, and Xbox now owns the rights to Elder Scrolls, Fallout
Microsoft just spent 3x more than it did for Minecraft in 2014 to buy ZeniMax Media, the parent company of the Bethesda Softworks publishing label and Bethesda Game Studios internal development teams. Xbox now owns the 2,300 team at ZeniMax, including all of Bethesda's first-party worldwide studios. And, most of all, Microsoft now owns Fallout, Elder Scrolls, and Doom, along with new franchises like Starfield.
Armed with Microsoft's billions, Bethesda plans to double-down on development of its biggest new games. Xbox's Phil Spencer confirms Bethesda's biggest games are now coming to Game Pass, but there's no word of console exclusivity. This is the single biggest buyout Xbox has ever done and represents decades' worth of value for the cross-platform brand. With Bethesda and Obsidian, Microsoft now has the RPG dream team on its side.
"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 said.
Bethesda's Pete Hines had this to say about the acquisition:
"But the key point is we're still Bethesda. We're still working on the same games we were yesterday, made by the same studios we've worked with for years, and those games will be published by us.
So why the change? Because it allows us to make even better games going forward. Microsoft is an incredible partner and offers access to resources that will make us a better publisher and developer. We believe that means better games for you to play. Simply put - we believe that change is an important part of getting better. We believe in pushing ourselves to be better. To innovate. To grow."