Xbox buys Fallout, Elder Scrolls, DOOM and more in stunning $7.5 billion deal

Microsoft announced that it has purchased ZeniMax Media, the parent company of Bethesda Softworks, for $7.5 billion.

Phil Spencer, the Head of Xbox at Microsoft, revealed the news in a post on the official Xbox blog. The deal is effective immediately and includes all the publishers and developers under the ZeniMax name such as Bethesda Softworks, Arkane Studios, id Software, MachineGames and more.

Bloomberg reporter Jason Schreier said the deal cost $7.5 billion and shared some helpful context. This deal is approximately three times what Microsoft paid for Mojang Studios (the developer behind Minecraft) in 2014.

This means that Microsoft now owns some of the most prestigious franchises in video games, including Fallout, The Elder Scrolls, DOOM, Wolfenstein and more.

“As one of the largest, most critically acclaimed, privately held game developers and publishers in the world, Bethesda is an incredibly talented group of 2,300 people worldwide who make up some of the most accomplished creative studios in our industry across Bethesda Softworks, Bethesda Game Studios, id Software, ZeniMax Online Studios, Arkane, MachineGames, Tango Gameworks, Alpha Dog, and Roundhouse Studios,” Spencer wrote in the blog post. “These are the teams responsible for franchises like The Elder Scrolls, Fallout, Wolfenstein, DOOM, Dishonored, Prey, Quake, Starfield and many more.”

A press release also confirmed that all Bethesda games will now be available on Xbox’s Game Pass upon release.

“With the addition of Bethesda, Microsoft will grow from 15 to 23 creative studio teams and will be adding Bethesda’s iconic franchises to Xbox Game Pass,” Microsoft wrote. “This includes Microsoft’s intent to bring Bethesda’s future games into Xbox Game Pass the same day they launch on Xbox or PC, like Starfield, the highly anticipated, new space epic currently in development by Bethesda Game Studios.”

After the PlayStation 5 Showcase, it seemed that Sony clearly had the upper hand because of its powerful stable of exclusive games including Final Fantasy XVI, Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales, the next God of War and more.

But now that Microsoft owns all of ZeniMax’s award-winning properties, things are far less certain.

If you enjoyed this story, check out In The Know’s article on the Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S prices and release dates.

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