Microsoft and Xbox Games Studios made a stunning announcement today when it was revealed that Microsoft had acquired ZeniMax Media, the parent company of Bethesda Softworks. The ZeniMax banner includes other studios such as id Software, Arkane, MachineGames, Tango Gameworks, Alpha Dog, and Roundhouse Software.
Phil Spencer detailed in an Xbox Wire post the long history between Microsoft and ZeniMax, which had resulted in sharing outstanding experiences like Doom and The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind with players. Bethesda has also been an early and staunch supporter of one of Xbox’s most recent initiatives, Xbox Game Pass. So Microsoft is now working on adding Bethesda’s catalog to the subscription service.
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
Spencer also noted that Bethesda has many unannounced titles as well and that Starfield is still in development at Bethesda Game Studios. Bloomberg’s Jason Schreier reports that Microsoft paid $7.5 billion for the ZeniMax acquisition.
Now, Xbox Game Studios owns all of ZeniMax’s game franchises such as Fallout, The Elder Scrolls, Doom, Wolfenstein, The Evil Within, Dishonored, Prey, and Quake. Spencer hasn’t confirmed whether or not future installments in these series will be exclusive to the Xbox and PC ecosystem.
Deathloop and GhostWire: Tokyo by Arkane and Tango respectively will continue to be timed exclusives on PlayStation 5. However, Bethesda will continue to publish games itself, rather than publishing from Xbox Game Studios.