Microsoft made tidal waves in the gaming world when they announced intentions to acquire ZeniMax Media, parent company of gaming giant Bethesda Game Studios. The deal would keep Bethesda development leadership in place and does not strictly ban Bethesda games from appearing on non-Microsoft platforms.
The European Commission announced the deal’s approval on their website saying they “concluded that the proposed acquisition would raise no competition concerns, given the combined entity’s limited market position upstream and the presence of strong downstream competitors in the distribution of video games.”
Microsoft has been actively acquiring developers including DoubleFine Studios, Ninja Theory, Playground Games, and Obsidian Entertainment. Their purchase of ZeniMax will net Microsoft more than four new, highly-acclaimed development studios to call their own. The largest of those studios are Arkane Studios, iD Software, Machine Games, Tango Gameworks and Bethesda Game Studios.
Bethesda Game Studios are the architects of the last decade’s most influential games including The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim and Fallout 4, both of which were runaway successes netting the company millions. Microsoft will be acquiring the company for a record-setting $7.5 billion and following the acquisition, all Bethesda games will come out on the Xbox Game Pass cloud gaming service on the same day as their physical release.
Microsoft and ZeniMax have been quiet on the future of Bethesda games on PlayStation consoles. Now that the company is a Microsoft subsidiary, it’s not a far-flung thought to assume the games will become Microsoft-platform exclusives.