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In an explosive tweet earlier today, Bloomberg journalist Jason Schrier revealed that Microsoft is acquiring Zenimax Media for $7.5 billion. Zenimax Media is the parent company of Bethesda, id Software, Arkane Studios, MachineGames, Tango Gameworks, Alpha Dog Games, and Roundhouse Studios. These teams have been responsible for blockbuster franchises like The Elder Scrolls, Fallout, Wolfenstein, DOOM, Dishonored, Quake, Prey, and The Evil Within.

Soon after, Xbox boss Phil Spencer, also made it official in a blog post on Xbox News. According to the statement, these iconic franchises will find their way to Xbox Game Pass for console and PC. Also, Bethesda’s future games will be available on the Xbox Game Pass on their launch day. Microsoft now has 23 studios, with over 15 million Game Pass subscribers.

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.

Todd Howard, director, and executive producer at Bethesda Game Studios, in a blog post on the Bethesda website, reiterated the same. He talked about how the new console generation (Xbox Series X/S) have brought in their largest engine overhaul since Oblivion, with the latest technology powering their first IP in 25 years, Starfield. Future games like Elder Scrolls VI will also benefit greatly from the generational leap in graphics, CPU, and data streaming.

I have had the pleasure of working with, and partnering with, many of the best gaming and tech companies in the world. But our longest, and closest partner during my career, has been Microsoft.

Pete Hines, the VP of PR & Marketing at Bethesda Softworks, on a separate post on the Bethesda website, provided some clarity on the relationship between the companies, and the plan going forward. He talked about the shared culture of passion, quality, collaboration, and innovation, that runs deep in both companies, and even though it is a big change, he reassured everyone that their belief in each other will help them to do what they do best – make great games.

But the key point is we’re still Bethesda. 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. So why the change? Because it allows us to make even better games going forward. Microsoft is an incredible partner and offers access to resources that will make us a better publisher and developer. We believe that means better games for you to play. Simply put – we believe that change is an important part of getting better. We believe in pushing ourselves to be better. To innovate. To grow.

This successful acquisition comes in the wake of Microsoft and Walmart’s joint bid that was not accepted by Tiktok’s developer ByteDance. This unprecedented move by Microsoft to consolidate itself at the heart of the gaming industry also brings with itself a spate of new questions. Will PS5 timed-exclusives like Deathloop and Ghostwire: Tokyo still be exclusives? Now that Obsidian and Bethesda are on the same team, will we see a Fallout: New Vegas 2? Will Microsoft jump in and stop some of the predatory practices like Fallout First (the premium membership for Fallout 76) and inflated regional prices in certain countries? What will happen to the Bethesda launcher?

Remember when we covered their acquisition of Double Fine Adventures (Psychonauts 2) in 2019? Or when they did the double RPG whammy by taking over Obsidian and inXile Entertainment in 2018? Keep your eyes peeled on Gameffine for more such breaking news!

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