Microsoft Buys Out Bethesda to the Tune of $7.5 Billion, Adds Titles to Game Pass

     September 21, 2020

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In a $7.5 billion buyout, it was announced today that Microsoft will acquir ZeniMax Media, the parent company of its better-known video game developer / publisher Bethesda Softworks. That acquisition now brings Bethesda’s studios — Bethesda Game Studios, id Software, ZeniMax Online Studios, Arkane, MachineGames, Tango Gameworks, Alpha Dog, and Roundhouse Studios — their 2,300 global employees, and their long list of acclaimed video game titles under Microsoft’s roof. Said franchises include The Elder Scrolls, Fallout, Wolfenstein, DOOM, DisHonored, Prey, Quake, Starfield and likely more to come.

What exactly the acquisition means for Bethesda employees (except for the top-level executives, which largely remain intact or reshuffled during such corporate maneuvers; Todd Howard isn’t going anywhere just yet) remains to be seen, and the same can be said for fans of both companies. For starters, Bethesda titles will be headed to Microsoft’s Xbox Game Pass ASAP. The long-in-development Starfield was also name-dropped during the post-announcement news but without any solid info beyond the title being “currently in development.” That’s status quo for the moment; there’s a lot of talk about how great it’s been for each of these companies to work together over the years and how much they’re looking forward to making that official, but all of it comes from the highest-ups. To see how this acquisition affects the bottom line, the shared companies’ thousands of employees, and fans themselves, the proof is in the processors. Stay tuned.

Here’s how the news broke:

You can read more from Phil Spencer, Head of Xbox at the link above, as well as see what makes the partnership a “perfect fit” in the words of Pete Hines, Bethesda’s SVP of PR & Marketing. And you can rest assured that some ::ahem:: fallout from the acquisition will arrive sooner than later.

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