Microsoft takes on Sony with exclusive games after the EU clears the $7.5 billion acquisition of video game publisher Bethesda
Late last year, we wrote about Microsoft after the tech giant announced a $7.5 billion acquisition of Bethesda, the maker of hit Fallout and The Elder Scrolls games. It was the biggest gaming acquisition in Microsoft’s history, surpassing the $2.5 billion the company paid for Minecraft developer Mojang in 2014. At the time, the acquisition was subject to the EU regulators’ approval.
Last Friday, Microsoft received the news it has been waiting for. The European Commission, the executive body of the EU made a decision to clear the Microsoft-ZeniMax deal, according to an update on its merger case register. The closing of the deal comes days after the European Union and U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) gave Microsoft the green light.
In a blog post on Tuesday, Microsoft said:
“This is an exciting day for Xbox. Today we officially complete the acquisition of ZeniMax Media, parent company of Bethesda Softworks. It’s an honor to welcome the eight incredibly talented development studios – Bethesda Game Studios, id Software, ZeniMax Online Studios, Arkane, MachineGames, Tango Gameworks, Alpha Dog, and Roundhouse Studios – and their passionate global communities to the Xbox family. Now that everything is official, we can begin working together to deliver more great games to everyone.”
Microsoft also confirmed rumors that some new Bethesda games would be exclusive to its Xbox console and Windows PCs.
“With the addition of the Bethesda creative teams, gamers should know that Xbox consoles, PC, and Game Pass will be the best place to experience new Bethesda games, including some new titles in the future that will be exclusive to Xbox and PC players,” said Phil Spencer, head of Microsoft’s Xbox unit.
Given that Bethesda is a household name in gaming, the acquisition gives Microsoft access to a raft of successful game franchises, including the role-playing game series Fallout and The Elder Scrolls and the Doom shooter franchise. The acquisition puts Microsoft in a better position to take on Sony with a plethora of exclusive games.
The 2014 acquisition of Mojang, the studio behind popular title Minecraft, proved to be a boon to the tech giant as Minecraft continued to surge in popularity, rapidly becoming the world’s best-selling game with over 200 million copies sold to date.
Bethesda parent company ZeniMax Media was founded in 1999 by Chairman and CEO Robert A. Altman; Bethesda’s structure and leadership will remain in place.