Microsoft Acquires Bethesda for $7.5 Billion (Update)

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Here’s your megaton news for the month: Microsoft has just acquired Bethesda! Yes, the same Bethesda that publishes iconic franchises such as DOOM, The Elder Scrolls, Fallout and more!

In the press release, it mentions that Microsoft’s acquisition of ZeniMax Media, which is the parent company of Bethesda, amounts to $7.5 billion under the terms of the agreement. Here are some of the keypoints:

  • Creators of critically acclaimed and best-selling gaming franchises including The Elder Scrolls and Fallout among many others, Bethesda brings an impressive portfolio of games, technology, talent, as well as a track record of blockbuster commercial success, to Xbox.


  • The cultural phenomenon of gaming has made it the largest and fastest-growing form of entertainment in the world—an industry that is expected to be more than $200 billion in annual revenue in 2021.


  • Games are the primary growth engine in gaming and games are fueling new cloud-gaming services like Xbox Game Pass, which has reached a new milestone of over 15 million subscribers.


  • With the addition of Bethesda, Microsoft will grow from 15 to 23 creative studio teams and will be adding Bethesda’s iconic franchises to Xbox Game Pass. This includes Microsoft’s intent to bring Bethesda’s future games into Xbox Game Pass the same day they launch on Xbox or PC.


  • With unique investments in content, community, and the cloud, Microsoft’s gaming strategy differs from others by empowering people to play the games they want, with the people they want, anywhere they want.  

Bethesda has over 2,300 people working within the company worldwide and this acquisition means the following studios now fall under Microsoft’s first-party portfolio: Bethesda Softworks, Bethesda Game Studios, id Software, ZeniMax Online Studios, Arkane, MachineGames, Tango Gameworks, Alpha Dog, and Roundhouse Studios.

No mention of how this will faffect Bethesda’s games on Sony, Nintendo platforms, but we’ll keep an eye out.

Update: Bethesda boss Todd Howard has issued a statement and has seemingly confirmed that Bethesda games will continue to be multi-platform! Per Howard’s statement:

Microsoft and their new Xbox crew had a view, that I came to share completely. Shouldn’t we allow anyone to have this experience? Why does it matter where the screen is or what the controller is? There are many people without the same access, and we can bring it to them.
We’ll report more news as it happens.