Xbox Reaches Agreement To Buy Bethesda Game Studios' Parent Company Zenimax Media - UPDATED
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Xbox Reaches Agreement To Buy Bethesda Game Studios' Parent Company Zenimax Media - UPDATED

Lloyd Coombes
22 September 2020

Who says Xbox has no games?

Update:

Bethesda's existing agreements to publish both Deathloop and Ghostwire first on PlayStation 5 will still be honoured, according to an interview Phil Spencer gave with Bloomberg.

As per the report, Spencer says that "future Bethesda games will be on Xbox, PC, and ‘other consoles on a case by case basis’.”

Original Story Follows:

Microsoft has announced that it has reached an agreement to acquire ZeniMax Media, the parent company of Bethesda Softworks.

Announced via an Xbox Wire blog post from the head of Xbox, Phil Spencer, the likes of Bethesda Game Studios, id Software, ZeniMax Online, Arkane and more will join the Xbox Game Studios lineup ahead of the new console generation.

Xbox Buys Bethesda Game Studios

As part of the blog post, Spencer explains "these are the teams responsible for franchises like The Elder Scrolls, Fallout, Wolfenstein, DOOM, Dishonored, Prey, Quake, Starfield and many more".

It goes on to say that "Like us [Microsoft], 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."

The fee for the purchase is $7.5 billion dollars and will see the Xbox Game Studios stable grow from 15 to 23 creative teams.

It'll not only ensure that Bethesda's future titles launch on Xbox Game Pass for both console and PC, but it sounds as though existing releases will join the service in the coming months, too.

Microsoft will also own the IP from Bethesda, including the likes of the Elder Scrolls, Fallout, and Dishonored.

It's also interesting to note that Bethesda is due to release two timed PlayStation 5 exclusives, with both Ghostwire Tokyo and Deathloop intended for Sony's machine. Whether those plans will change or not remains to be seen.

In another blog post from Bethesda Game Studios executive producer Todd Howard, he noted that the two companies had long enjoyed a positive working relationship from the early days of Morrowind on the original Xbox. 

Speaking about the Xbox Series S and Series X, he said both "are optimized for the vast worlds we love to create, with generational leaps not just in graphics, but CPU and data streaming as well."

"It’s lead to our largest engine overhaul since Oblivion, with all new technologies powering our first new IP in 25 years, Starfield, as well as The Elder Scrolls VI."

Whether this means the likes of Starfield or Elder Scrolls 6 are likely to be Xbox and PC exclusive is anyone's guess, but given Microsoft still publishes Minecraft, itself a $2.5 billion purchase, on other platforms suggests that it's possible they'll make their way to other platforms, too.

We're curious to see if this means Bethesda's RPGs may finally be able to smooth out some of those loveable glitches, but the most important question is whether we'll finally get Dishonored 3.

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