Microsoft has finalised its $7.5 billion acquisition of Bethesda’s parent company, ZeniMax.
The announcement comes from an Xbox Wire post, in which Xbox head Phil Spencer revealed that “some” of Bethesda’s titles will be exclusive to Xbox consoles and PC.
“This is the next step in building an industry-leading first party studios team, a commitment we have to our Xbox community,” said Spencer. “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.”
Spencer didn’t clarify which Bethesda titles will be exclusive to Microsoft, and which will simply be “best” on Xbox. Most will likely be waiting for further details about the exclusivity of Bethesda’s biggest franchises, Fallout and The Elder Scrolls.
It’s still certainly possible that these games will be released on other platforms – Spencer has said in the past that Microsoft will decide Bethesda’s Xbox-exclusive titles on a “case by case basis.” Microsoft could still release the next Fallout on PS5, and claim the PR win by providing them for “free” on the day of release via Game Pass, while still profiting from the sales on PS5.
Given that Xbox is putting such an emphasis on Game Pass this generation, it would make a compelling case for the platform when contrasted with a £70 price tag on PS5.
Speaking of Game Pass, Spencer revealed that a number of Bethesda and ZeniMax titles will be coming to the service later this week. More details are expected at Microsoft’s upcoming video presentation on March 11th.
ZeniMax is more than just Bethesda, of course. ZeniMax is also the parent company of id Software, Arkane, ZeniMax Online Studios, MachineGames (creators of the recently announced Indiana Jones title), Tango Gameworks, Alpha Dog and Roundhouse Studios.
Despite the new ownership, Spencer stressed that Bethesda and ZeniMax’s other studios will continue to operate as they had before.
“[I]t’s vitally important that Bethesda continues making games the way it always has. We look forward to empowering Bethesda’s creative teams to reach even more players around the world, helping make future Bethesda titles the biggest and most popular games in their history. Xbox and Bethesda have long shared a common vision for the future of gaming. Both as fans and as creators, Bethesda understands the potential of Xbox Game Pass.”