Microsoft Completes $7.5 Billion Takeover Of Skyrim And Fallout Creator Bethesda
Fus Ro Dah! Xbox has acquired Bethesda Softworks, creators of Fallout and Elder Scrolls, in a $7.5 billion takeover.
Some of my most formative role-playing video game experiences come courtesy of Bethesda’s expansive worlds, whether it’s wandering the wasteland on the trail of New Vegas, or tussling ghouls, trolls and other beasts as Dragonborn in Skyrim.
Together, dense single player experiences and the proliferation of esports are taking the industry to new heights. By 2021, it’s expected to be worth more than $200 million in annual revenue. As such, Xbox has made a calculated purchase that’ll send a cold sweat down the backs of PlayStation gamers.
Today, September 21, Microsoft announced its takeover of ZeniMax Media, the parent company of Bethesda Softworks, ‘one of the largest, privately held game developers and publishers in the world’.
For the small sum of $7.5 billion in cash, Bethesda Softworks, Bethesda Game Studios, id Software, ZeniMax Online Studios, Arkane, MachineGames, Tango Gameworks, Alpha Dog and Roundhouse Studios have all joined Team Xbox.
Robert A. Altman, CEO of ZeniMax Media, said in a press release:
This is a thrilling day for this company, our employees, and our fans. We have enjoyed a close partnership with Microsoft for decades, and this deal is a natural progression of those years working together. The big winners today are our fans. We are continuing to develop our slate of AAA games, but now with Microsoft’s scale and entire Game Stack, our games can only get better.
In addition to the Elder Scrolls series and Fallout, Bethesda’s franchises include DOOM, Quake, Wolfenstein, The Evil Within, Prey, Rage and Dishonored – all of which will be added to Xbox Game Pass, with Bethesda’s future games (like the highly-anticipated Starfield) set to drop on the service the same time they launch on console and PC.
Phil Spencer, executive vice president of gaming at Microsoft, added:
This is an awesome time to be an Xbox fan. In the last 10 days alone, we’ve released details on our two new consoles which go on pre-order tomorrow, launched cloud gaming in Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, and now we’re making another investment in the most critical part of our strategy: the games.
Generations of gamers have been captivated by the renowned franchises in the Bethesda portfolio and will continue to be so for years to come as part of Xbox.
Xbox has often been criticised for its first-party game offerings in comparison to PlayStation. However, having Bethesda under its banner is a titanic acquisition, one that could see exclusivity on titles cherished by both sides. The next generation of gaming just became even more interesting.
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