The videogame world is down one publisher. Microsoft announced on Monday their plan to acquire ZeniMax Media, the privately held parent company of Bethesda Softworks, for $7.5 billion. The deal brings videogame franchises like DOOM, The Elder Scrolls and Fallout under the Microsoft umbrella and to their videogame subscription service, Xbox Game Pass.
“Bethesda’s games have always had a special place on Xbox and in the hearts of millions of gamers around the world,” wrote Executive Vice President of gaming at Microsoft Phil Spencer in a blog post. “Today is a landmark step in our journey together and I’m incredibly energized by what this step means for Xbox.”
The deal will bring Microsoft’s total number of creative studio teams up from 15 to 23, greatly expanding the development side of their Xbox brand.
In addition to bringing previous Bethesda titles to Xbox Game Pass, Microsoft said that new titles will be available through the service on their launch day. The announcement comes after Microsoft’s announcement earlier in the month that titles from Electronic Art’s videogame subscription service, EA Play, will be available to Xbox Game Pass subscribers at no additional cost.
The announcement also comes one day before preorders for Microsoft’s next generation videogame consoles, the Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S, potentially winning over skeptical consumers with a last-minute sales pitch.
Microsoft expects the deal to be finalized in the second half of the 2021 fiscal year.
Nicolas Perez is an editorial intern at Paste and opinion co-editor for New University. He’s rambling on Twitter @Nic_Perez_.