Microsoft set to acquire Bethesda Softworks of ZeniMax Media

Microsoft has entered into an agreement to acquire ZeniMax Media and its game publisher Bethesda Softworks for $7.5 billions in cash. Bethesda Softworks, the publisher and developer of Fallout, Doom, The Elder Scrolls, Wolfenstein, Quake, Dishonored, and more, is now part of the Xbox family following the acquisition.

According to Microsoft, the planned acquisition includes development studios and publishing offices across the Globe, with over 2,300 employees, including Bethesda Softworks, Bethesda Game Studios, id Software, ZeniMax Online Studios, Arkane, MachineGames, Tango Gameworks, Alpha Dog, and Roundhouse Studios.

The acquisition is followed by Bethesda games coming to Xbox Game Pass on consoles and PCs. It even gives Microsoft to take control of the upcoming games like the space epic Starfield. Microsoft intents to bring Bethesda’s future games, like Starfield to Xbox Game Pass the same day they launch on Xbox or PC.

Microsoft has been a close partner to Bethesda Game Studios for decades and this news arrives just before Microsoft’s Xbox Series X and the Xbox Series S opens for pre-orders while Microsoft decides to launch the next generation consoles on November 10th.

Bethesda Studios had already announced two upcoming PlayStation 5 and PC exclusives: Arkane’s Deathloop and the Tango Gameworks title Ghostwire: Tokyo. Phil Spencer: Head of Xbox confirms that Microsoft will honor these exclusive deals. However, future games will come to non-Xbox platforms on a “case-by-case basis.”

Bethesda marketing head Pete Hines wrote in a statement, “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.”

Microsoft is expecting the acquisition to close in the second half of the fiscal year 2021 and to have minimal impact to non-GAAP operating income in fiscal years 2021 and 2022.

About Microsoft
Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT” @microsoft) enables digital transformation for the era of an intelligent cloud and an intelligent edge. Its mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.

About ZeniMax Media Inc.
ZeniMax Media is a privately-owned media organization headquartered outside Washington DC with international publishing offices around the globe. Through its subsidiaries, ZeniMax Media creates and publishes original interactive entertainment content for consoles, PCs, and handheld/wireless devices. ZeniMax Media divisions include Bethesda Softworks, Bethesda Game Studios, id Software, Arkane Studios, Tango Gameworks, MachineGames, ZeniMax Online Studios, Alpha Dog Games, Roundhouse Studios, ZeniMax Europe Ltd., ZeniMax Asia K.K., ZeniMax Asia Pacific Limited, and ZeniMax Australia Pty Ltd. For more information on ZeniMax Media, visit www.zenimax.com.

Bethesda Fast Facts and Accolades

5 of 8 studios have shipped “Game of the Year” titles

#1 Ranked Publisher of the Year (2018)

“Game of the Year” winner 5 years in a row

The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind

RPG of the Year from IGN and others

The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion

Consensus Game of the Year across all outlets

Fallout 3

Consensus Game of the Year across all outlets

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

Consensus Game of the Year

Named Game of the Generation and #1 PC Game of All Time

Fallout 4

Over 50 Game of the Year Awards including DICE and BAFTA

Dishonored

BAFTA Award for Best Game, Best Action Adventure Game at the VGAs

Dishonored 2

PC Gamer Game of the Year, Best Action Adventure Game at the VGAs

Winner of more than 100 Best of 2016 awards

Wolfenstein: The New Colossus

Best Action Game, The Game Awards

DOOM (2016)

Best Action Game, The Game Awards

Fallout Shelter

Mobile Game of the Year, DICE Awards and Golden Joystick Awards

Elder Scrolls Online

MMO of the Year four consecutive years