Xbox is making a major acquisition. Today, Microsoft announced it will be buying ZeniMax Media, bringing Bethesda Softworks' many studios and franchises under its wing.
This includes Bethesda Game Studios, id Software, ZeniMax Online Studios, Arkane, MachineGames, Tango Gameworks, Alpha Dog, and Roundhouse Studios. The teams behind Doom's 2016 reboot and 2020 sequel Eternal, The Elder Scrolls, Fallout, Dishonored, Wolfenstein, and more are all under Xbox.
The announcement was tweeted earlier this morning by Bloomberg's Jason Schreier, who says Microsoft is paying $7.5 billion for ZeniMax and Bethesda. As he notes, this partnership brings Bethesda's studios into the Xbox Game Studios family alongside major developers like Obsidian and Mojang.
In an Xbox Wire post, Xbox head Phil Spencer says Bethesda's catalogue of iconic franchises will be coming to Xbox Game Pass. Games from series like Doom, Fallout, Dishonored, and more could be joining Microsoft's game subscription service soon.
This acquisition also adds a few strange nuances to the upcoming launch of the next generation of console hardware. Two upcoming Bethesda games, Arkane's Deathloop and Tango Gameworks' GhostWire: Tokyo, are timed console exclusives for the PlayStation 5. It will be a little strange to possibly see Microsoft logos on a Sony timed exclusive, but then again, it's also wild to see Microsoft acquiring Bethesda.
With Xbox Series X and Series S preorders going live soon, this is a big move for Microsoft going into the next generation. Major next-gen games like Starfield, the new space epic from Bethesda Game Studios, are on the distant horizon and they're now falling under the Xbox umbrella.