Microsoft has agreed to acquire ZeniMax Media, the parent company of Doom and Fallout studio Bethesda Softworks, for $7.5 billion in cash. The acquisition follows earlier Bethesda games coming to Xbox Game Pass on console and PC, and it gives Microsoft control of upcoming games like the space epic Starfield. Microsoft says future Bethesda games, including Starfield, will launch on Xbox Game Pass the day they come to Xbox or PC.
The news arrives just as Microsoft is gearing up to launch two new consoles, the Xbox Series X and the Xbox Series S. Bethesda had already announced two upcoming PlayStation 5 and PC exclusives: Arkane’s Deathloop and the Tango Gameworks title Ghostwire: Tokyo. Xbox boss Phil Spencer confirmed that Microsoft will honor these timed exclusive deals, but future games will come to non-Xbox platforms on a “case-by-case basis.”
Microsoft will launch its next-generation consoles on November 10th, and preorders open tomorrow. This acquisition also brings the company’s total list of internal studios to 23, following the addition of Bethesda sub-studios like Dishonored developer Arkane, Wolfenstein studio MachineGames, Doom maker id Software, and The Evil Within studio Tango Gameworks. However, Microsoft says Bethesda will retain its existing leadership.
“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,” wrote Bethesda marketing head Pete Hines in a statement.
Updtea 12:00PM ET: Added confirmation that Microsoft will honor existing PlayStation 5 exclusive deals.