Microsoft acquires ZeniMax Media

Armenius

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Microsoft has just announced one of its biggest acquisitions to date in acquiring ZeniMax Media and bringing it under the Xbox gaming division. ZeniMax is the parent company and publishing arm of Bethesda Softworks, id Software, Arkane Studios, MachineGames, and Tango Gameworks. Its biggest brands are The Elder Scrolls, Fallout, Doom, and Wolfenstein. This very well could be the biggest shake up in the gaming world so far this generation as ZeniMax was one of the few largest privately-held gaming companies left.

https://news.xbox.com/en-us/2020/09/21/welcoming-bethesda-to-the-xbox-family/

Today is a special day, as we welcome some of the most accomplished studios in the games industry to Xbox. We are thrilled to announce Microsoft has entered into an agreement to acquire ZeniMax Media, parent company of Bethesda Softworks.

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. These are the teams responsible for franchises like The Elder Scrolls, Fallout, Wolfenstein, DOOM, Dishonored, Prey, Quake, Starfield and many more.

Bethesda’s games have always had a special place on Xbox and in the hearts of millions of gamers around the world. Our teams have a close and storied history working together, from the amazing first DOOM, and its id Tech engine, innovating games on PCs to Bethesda bringing their first console game to the original Xbox, the groundbreaking The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind. Over the years I’ve had many deep conversations with the creative leaders at Bethesda on the future of gaming and we’ve long shared similar visions for the opportunities for creators and their games to reach more players in more ways.

Just as they took the bold first steps to bring The Elder Scrolls franchise to the original Xbox, Bethesda were early supporters of Xbox Game Pass, bringing their games to new audiences across devices and have been actively investing in new gaming technology like cloud streaming of games. We will be adding Bethesda’s iconic franchises to Xbox Game Pass for console and PC. One of the things that has me most excited is seeing the roadmap with Bethesda’s future games, some announced and many unannounced, to Xbox console and PC including Starfield, the highly anticipated, new space epic currently in development by Bethesda Game Studios.

Like us, Bethesda are passionate believers in building a diverse array of creative experiences, in exploring new game franchises, and in telling stories in bold ways. 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.

All of our work, and the foundation of our relationship with you, starts with a commitment to deliver a breadth of amazing games to discover and play on Xbox. Over the last few weeks, we’ve been excited to share more detail on important elements of a plan we’ve been building towards for years. A plan that is the fulfilment of a promise, to you the Xbox player, to deliver the most performant, immersive and compatible next-generation gaming experiences, and the freedom to play blockbuster games with your friends, anytime, anywhere. Today is a landmark step in our journey together and I’m incredibly energized by what this step means for Xbox.

Please join me in welcoming all of our friends at Bethesda to Team Xbox.
 

SeymourGore

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Huge acquisition and exactly what MS needed to shore up their first party studios.

What I'm most excited about is the potential of an Interplay (Obisidian + InExile) and Fallout reunion.
 

Armenius

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Jason Schreier tweeted that Microsoft says future titles will be released on other consoles "on a case-by-case basis." So people worried about no more Elder Scrolls or Doom on PlayStation need not get out the pitchfork yet. Arkane's forthcoming title Deathloop and Tango's Ghostwire will still honor their exclusivity agreements, but the terms may change once the acquisition is completed in the latter half of next year.


The deal is worth nearly $8 billion USD, or double what the Star Wars franchise purchase by Disney was estimated to cost.
 

MadMummy76

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I don't see how this helps them. If they make any preexisting franchise XBOX exclusive all they achieve is hate. If they don't they just wasted 8 billion for nothing. Do they even have a plan? I don't think so.
 

Armenius

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I don't see how this helps them. If they make any preexisting franchise XBOX exclusive all they achieve is hate. If they don't they just wasted 8 billion for nothing. Do they even have a plan? I don't think so.
I think with large established franchises like The Elder Scrolls and Doom that they will continue to release those across all platforms for that very reason. They may introduce an exclusivity window to push people to Xbox, but I can't imagine holding back titles like this from such a large pool of customers. Smaller, unique titles like Ghostwire are those that are really up in the air.
 

SeymourGore

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I think with large established franchises like The Elder Scrolls and Doom that they will continue to release those across all platforms for that very reason. They may introduce an exclusivity window to push people to Xbox, but I can't imagine holding back titles like this from such a large pool of customers. Smaller, unique titles like Ghostwire are those that are really up in the air.
My guess is that the 'online-only/subscription' games (Fallout 76, Elder Scrolls Online) are the likeliest properties to make available on all platforms. It makes sense that they'd want games that are highly dependent on healthy active player numbers to have the highest chance to obtain players.

But their catalogue of singleplayer titles (ie: Fallout, DooM, Elder Scrolls 6, Dishonored, Wolfenstein) will become Xbox/PC exclusive. It is too lucrative to pass up. All the 'hate' from other players will diminish as long as the games are quality (and sell Xboxes). MS drops the ball and ruins these studios, they'll receive all the justified hate they deserve. However, I'm not anticipating that with a Spencer-led Xbox Games Division.

Given time, Fallout/DooM/ElderScrolls will be as tied to Xbox as God of War/Last of Us/Uncharted are tied to Playstation.
 

FILERO

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Yep, definitely going to be Xbox exclusive titles, that console needs a huge boost and was demolished by the ps4. I'm a little curious whats going to happen with Bethesda and Todd Howard but ultimately, its not much of an issue for me as I'll continue to focus on PC and I have no intention of buying a playstation or xbox right now or anytime in the future. That 3090 though..................................:unsure:
 

Brian_B

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Definitely good news for MS - this could end up being better than Bungie for them.

I don’t really care personally - I have a tepid opinion of most things from Zenimax, as well as Xbox. I hope great things come from it, but I fear another MS owned studio meltdown is imminent.
 
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