Microsoft has purchased ZeniMax Media for more than $7.5bn, leaving the future of Bethesda games to release as a case-by-case basis. Bethesda’s SVP, Global Marketing and Communications, Pete Hines has opened up regarding the acquisition.
Bethesda has been known for bringing games to our homes since 1986 when Christopher Weaver and Robert A. Altman. Eventually, ZeniMax Media was created in 1999 by Betheda Softworks founders, Weaver and Altman, and set out on a journey to expand their cutting-edge experiences into something deeper.
In modern day, ZeniMax Media, the parent company of Betheda Softworks, is known as one of the largest publishers in the world, bringing games such as The Elder Scrolls and Fallout to life alongside brand-new IPs. Alongside their titles, ZeniMax Media is also known for overseeing the family of studios for Arkane, id Software, Machine Games, and Tango Gameworks.
In his statement, a blog post if you will, Pete Hines, Bethesda’s SVP, Global Marketing and Communications, opened up about the acquisition, and what it means for the company, including, that the company is still Bethesda, “We’re still working on the same games we were yesterday, made by the same studios we’ve worked with for years, and those games will be published by us.
So why the change? Because it allows us to make even better games going forward. Microsoft is an incredible partner and offers access to resources that will make us a better publisher and developer. We believe that means better games for you to play. Simply put – we believe that change is an important part of getting better. We believe in pushing ourselves to be better. To innovate. To grow.”
Since the days of The Elder Scrolls: Morrowind, a game that had less than two hundred people working on it in tiny offices, Microsoft gave them a chance to grow, giving them a platform to bring in console gamers while also bringing that same experience to PC platforms.
“Yes, it’s a big change for us, but after taking a minute to absorb the magnitude of this acquisition, we’re going to continue doing what we know and love: making great games. We’re going to keep trying new things. We’re going to take the same passion we’ve poured into what we do, and the passion that our community brings to the things we make, and do even better.
And soon the conversation will move on from this deal to talking about our games again. And I can get back to answering the questions that get us all excited. Tell me more about Deathloop. When can I see more Ghostwire? What’s coming in Q4 for The Elder Scrolls Online? I want to see more of the DOOM Eternal DLC. WHEN THE HELL WILL YOU TELL ME ABOUT STARFIELD? I’m excited for those conversations and look forward to talking to you about all of that – and much, much more – in the weeks, months, and years ahead,” Hines states in his post.
In today’s announcement, ZeniMax Media has revealed Microsoft is purchasing the company for $7.5 billions in cash. The unique investment will bring in a new and unusual angle for Microsoft, a company that has had issues bringing exclusive games to their consoles in recent years. A point of discussion that has remained an argument for gamers since the release of the Xbox One and now, a debate going into the launch of the Xbox Series X.
The acquisition will allow Bethesda to utilize tools such as Xbox Game Pass and its streaming service as well as features such as the Microsoft Azure servers, and of course, the Windows 10 store as well as steam tools, giving them a presence across multiple platforms with seamless integration.
“Gaming is the most expansive category in the entertainment industry, as people everywhere turn to gaming to connect, socialize and play with their friends,” said Satya Nadella, CEO, Microsoft. “Quality differentiated content is the engine behind the growth and value of Xbox Game Pass—from Minecraft to Flight Simulator. As a proven game developer and publisher, Bethesda has seen success across every category of games, and together, we will further our ambition to empower the more than three billion gamers worldwide.”
This purchase will allow Microsoft to bring in stronger offerings, but not as just exclusives, as Phil Spencer recently opened up about the acquisition, but also, about the exclusivity regarding upcoming releases, “Microsoft will keep that commitment, Spencer said in an interview. Future games, like Starfield, will be available for Xbox, PC and Microsoft’s Game Pass video-game service. “We’ll take other consoles on a case-by-case basis,” Spencer said in a comment to Bloomberg.
“This is an awesome time to be an Xbox fan. In the last 10 days alone, we’ve released details on our two new consoles which go on pre-order tomorrow, launched cloud gaming in Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, and now we’re making another investment in the most critical part of our strategy: the games. Generations of gamers have been captivated by the renowned franchises in the Bethesda portfolio and will continue to be so for years to come as part of Xbox,” stated Spencer about Bethesda joining the Microsoft brand.
Micorosft has confirmed that Bethesda’s structure and leadership will remain in place. However, it isn’t clear whether or not that how they handle press releases, announcements, etc, will change, if they do in the future.
“This is a thrilling day for this company, our employees, and our fans. We have enjoyed a close partnership with Microsoft for decades, and this deal is a natural progression of those years working together,” said Altman. “The big winners today are our fans. We are continuing to develop our slate of AAA games, but now with Microsoft’s scale and entire Game Stack, our games can only get better.”
As with any business transaction of this kind, the completiong is subject to customary closing conditions and completion of a regulatory review. Microsoft is expecting the acquisition to complete in the second half of 2021 and they must have a minimal impact to non-GAAP operation incomes in fiscal years of 2021 and 2022. This includes changes to impact of purchasing accounting adjustments, intergration and transaction related expenses, etc.
Microsoft has confirmed that titles such as GhostWire: Tokyo and Deathloop will not be affected by the acqusition and that exclusivity will be handled on a title-to-title basis.
About the Writer(s):
Dustin is our native video game reviewer who has an appetite for anything that crosses the borders from across the big pond. His interest in JRPG’s, Anime, Handheld Gaming, and Pizza is insatiable. You can find him over on Twitter or Facebook today.