Microsoft’s Xbox team has considerably increased its list of game development studios last Monday, revealing that the company has bought ZeniMax Media for $7.5 billion. The entertainment company owns various top-class gaming studios including Bethesda Softworks – the creator of the popular Fallout RPG series and The Elder Scrolls fantasy adventure franchise. Zenimax also owns id Software which became popular because of its Rage, Doom, and Wolfenstein shooting game series.
This move from Microsoft increases the number of in-house Xbox game development studios to 23, up from the previous 15, which gives it access to some of the gaming industry’s most famous franchises. Microsoft will run Bethesda as its own division, with its leadership and structure untouched.
Bethesda is joining the @Xbox family.
— Bethesda (@bethesda) September 21, 2020
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella confirmed in a statement:
“As a proven game developer and publisher, Bethesda has seen success across every category of games, and together, we will further our ambition to empower the more than three billion gamers worldwide.”
The two companies fixed the deal as an extension of an already tight partnership that has existed for decades. Zenimax CEO Robert Altman assured that their upcoming games will get better and that it’s the fans that will benefit more with Microsoft’s acquisition of the company.
Microsoft’s acquisition comes just weeks before the launch of their next-gen consoles this November 2020. The $300 Xbox Series S and $500 Xbox Series X are both incredible powerhouses that promise fans sharper graphics and better gaming experiences compared to their ancestors.
Xbox and @Bethesda have worked together for years. We share similar passions and beliefs. Proud to welcome them to Team @Xbox. Excited how we’ll advance gaming together for players everywhere https://t.co/0BcLULyFYF pic.twitter.com/2aectsejsk
— Phil Spencer (@XboxP3) September 21, 2020
Microsoft’s next-gen consoles will be clashing against Sony’s $400 PlayStation 5 Digital Edition and $500 PlayStation Standard Edition which is also coming out a week after Microsoft’s next-gen console launch.
Microsoft’s acquisition came after its failed attempt at getting Tiktok – a China-based social media app that has gained over 2 billion downloads worldwide and over 100 million users just in the United States. Microsoft spent at least a whole month bargaining to buy some shares of the app in a desperate struggle to please national security concerns raised by President Donald Trump who was threatening to ban Tiktok from apps stores all over the United States if it wasn’t purchased by an American company.
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
For Microsoft, its largest ever video game-related purchase isn’t just about growing its roster of gaming studios. By buying a reputable company with a series of popular games throughout the past decades, Microsoft is focusing on Halo and Forza as its marquee games.
It also cushions Microsoft from problems of having to delay its most awaited launch game, Halo Infinite, which was supposed to release this holiday 2020 but has been delayed to 2021 thus leaving its next-gen consoles without a key launch game to compete against the PlayStation 5’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales.
Microsoft Executive Vice President of Gaming Phil Spencer stated that “Content is just the incredible ingredient to our platform that we continue to invest in.” He also added that Bethesda’s huge library of popular games will be added to Microsoft’s Xbox Games Pass service, which has recently achieved more than 15 million subscribers.