Microsoft has announced today that they have acquired ZeniMax Media and Bethesda Softworks, giving them ownership of blockbuster franchises such as The Elder Scrolls, DOOM, Fallout and more.
Microsoft’s press release reads in part:
Bethesda’s games have always had a special place on Xbox and in the hearts of millions of gamers around the world. Our teams have a close and storied history working together, from the amazing first DOOM, and its id Tech engine, innovating games on PCs to Bethesda bringing their first console game to the original Xbox, the groundbreaking The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind. Over the years I’ve had many deep conversations with the creative leaders at Bethesda on the future of gaming and we’ve long shared similar visions for the opportunities for creators and their games to reach more players in more ways.
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, bringing their games to new audiences across devices and have been actively investing in new gaming technology like cloud streaming of games. 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.
Microsoft has been on a buying spree when it comes to development studios as of late — the company purchased Ninja Theory, Playground Games, Compulsion Games, and Undead Labs in 2018. With the purchase of Bethesda Softworks, Microsoft’s now has 23 development studios under its umbrella.
This acquisition could have monumental effects on the video game landscape, calling into question the fate of PlayStation versions of games from franchises like The Elder Scrolls and DOOM.
More on this story as it develops.