On Monday, Microsoft shocked the gaming industry by announcing that they are in the process of purchasing Zenimax Media for over $7.5 billion. The deal includes all assets, such as Bethesda Software and all companies and franchises under its ownership, including the likes of Doom, Elder Scrolls, Fallout, Dishonored and much more. The deal is expected to go through by June 1, 2021. The news comes on the eve of pre-orders for the Xbox Series X and S.
“Bethesda are passionate believers in building a diverse array of creative experiences, in exploring new game franchises, and in telling stories in bold ways,” said Phil Spencer, head of Xbox. “All of their great work will, of course, continue and grow, and we look forward to empowering them with the resources and support of Microsoft to scale their creative visions to more players in new ways for you.”
In a blog post on Bethesda.Net, executive producer of Bethesda Games Studios, Todd Howard, expressed some of his thoughts on the recent buyout from Microsoft. “We can’t think of a better group of people to do that with than those at Xbox,” Howard said. “We have friendships that go back to those original days. From Phil to his senior leaders to developer support, they don’t just talk about putting players first, they passionately live it.”
Despite their purchase, Microsoft has reassured fans that they will honor exclusivity deals Bethesda had made with Sony. This means that games like Deathloop and Ghostwire: Tokyo will still come first to PlayStation 5. ZeniMax Online Studios director, Matt Firor, confirmed on twitter that Elder Scrolls Online would remain available on PlayStation. Microsoft also confirmed that future games would arrive on PC, Xbox and Xbox Game Pass. “We’ll take other consoles on a case-by-case basis,” Spencer told Bloomberg.
— The Elder Scrolls Online (@TESOnline) September 21, 2020
Microsoft’s next-gen gaming consoles, the Xbox Series X and S, will be released on November 10.