Microsoft's acquisition of ZeniMax Media, the parent company of Bethesda, Arkane Studios, and other subsidiaries, is now finalized thanks to the EU's approval of the $7.5 billion merger.
Now that the alliance is official, Microsoft confirmed what we all saw coming: some new Bethesda games will be Xbox and PC exclusives.
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- Holy crap! Xbox just bought ZeniMax Media, acquiring Elder Scrolls, Doom, Fallout and Starfield rights
Microsoft plans to make some new Bethesda games Xbox and PC exclusives
Microsoft got its hands on a highly praised catalog of games under the ZeniMax Media umbrella, including Elder Scrolls, Fallout, Doom, Wolfenstein, and my personal favorite, Dishonored. This, of course, caused many gamers to wonder if titles from Bethesda, Arkane Studios and other ZeniMax Media subsidiaries would be siloed from other consoles and restricted to Xbox/PC platforms.
Last November, we reported that Xbox's CFO Tom Stuart announced Microsoft had no interest in yanking current Bethesda content out of Sony and Nintendo platforms. However, Stuart hinted that Microsoft planned on making Bethesda content more enticing on Xbox Game Pass to lure gamers away from less appealing platforms.
"If you think about something like Game Pass, if it shows up best in Game Pass, that’s what we want to see, and we want to drive our Game Pass subscriber base through that Bethesda pipeline," Stuart said.
Stuart also admitted that Microsoft wanted first dibs on new Bethesda titles. However, he did not elaborate on whether that meant timed exclusives or permanent ones. Now, we know for sure — Microsoft did not spend $7.5 billion on ZeniMax Media just to have highly anticipated Bethesda games scattered across multi-platform releases. No, Microsoft wants that exclusivity, baby!
"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," Head of Xbox Phil Spencer said on Xbox Wire.
Sorry PlayStation and Nintendo fanboys — if you love ZeniMax Media games like Elder Scrolls and Doom, there's a possibility that you may need to snag one of the best gaming laptops or an Xbox console to play your favorite Bethesda titles.
If you have Xbox Game Pass and you're a huge fan of ZeniMax Media, you'll be elated to know that more Bethesda games will be added to the Game Pass catalog later this week.
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Kimberly Gedeon, holding a Master's degree in International Journalism, launched her career as a journalist for MadameNoire's business beat in 2013. She loved translating stuffy stories about the economy, personal finance and investing into digestible, easy-to-understand, entertaining stories for young women of color. During her time on the business beat, she discovered her passion for tech as she dove into articles about tech entrepreneurship, the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) and the latest tablets. After eight years of freelancing, dabbling in a myriad of beats, she's finally found a home at Laptop Mag that accepts her as the crypto-addicted, virtual reality-loving, investing-focused, tech-fascinated nerd she is. Woot!