Microsoft acquired Bethesda Softworks today. The Xbox maker announces in a blogpost that they bought Bethesda’s parent company, ZeniMax Media, for $7,5 billion. But what does the acquisition mean for Bethesda’s game. And more importantly, did Microsoft just win the console wars?
Microsoft buys Bethesda
Seemingly out of nowhere, Microsoft welcomes Bethesda Softworks to it’s roster of game studios. The deal causes many of ZeniMax Media’s studios (including it’s 2,300 employees) to be a part of the Microsoft company now. Studios like id Software (DOOM), MachineGames (Wolfenstein), Arkane Studios (Dishonored), and of course Bethesda Game Studios now fall under the Microsoft umbrella.
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 the Xbox maker states above, Bethesda is one of the most accomplished gaming companies out there. With iconic franchises like The Elder Scrolls, Fallout, DOOM, and Dishonored in their line-up, it’s safe to say Bethesda owns a relatively massive slice of the video game industry’s pie.
What does it mean?
But what does the deal mean for gamers that prefer the PlayStation or Nintendo console? Could it be that Microsoft just turned the odds in their favor for the upcoming console war?
I recently wrote an article saying the PlayStation 5 is objectively better because of the DualSense controller. But the article deliberately takes exclusives out of the equation. If we do take those into account for a second, the matchup would again be quite interesting. Sony has always had a huge line-up of exclusive games. But could the Japanese company compete with the likes of The Elder Scrolls VI or the next Fallout?
Though to be fair, we don’t have to choose sides just yet. Neither Bethesda nor Microsoft have given any indication that their games are going to be exclusively sold for the Xbox and PC. In fact, Sony still has a few timed exclusivity deals with Bethesda for Deathloop and GhostWire: Tokyo. Bethesda CEO Todd Howard also wrote the following in a blogpost:
[This deal] is about more than one system or one screen. We share a deep belief in the fundamental power of games, in their ability to connect, empower, and bring joy. And a belief we should bring that to everyone – regardless of who you are, where you live, or what you play on. Regardless of the screen size, the controller, or your ability to even use one.
Microsoft will unveil more details about the deal with Bethesda soon. Stay tuned!