This morning Microsoft announced that it has reached an agreement to acquire Zenimax Media, which is the parent company for major AAA game studios like Bethesda, id Software, Arkane and more.
Zenimax may not be a recognizable name to some. But those that don't recognize it will likely immediately recognize the most popular game franchises under its umbrella.
Game series like Fallout, The Elder Scrolls, DOOM, and Wolfenstein all come from Bethesda, and are some of the biggest game franchises on the planet. With Microsoft to acquire Zenimax, it acquires Bethesda and all of its large game properties.
Which down the line could lead to some unique timed console exclusives for Xbox Series X and Series S in the future..
Microsoft paid $7.5 billion to acquire Bethesda
The deal isn't just about Bethesda, but Bethesda is seemingly the most valuable part of the whole thing.
Microsoft's agreement to pay $7.5 Billion for the acquisition ensures that it gets ownership of some of the biggest and most talented names in gaming. This includes smaller (yet still highly successful) game franchises like Prey, Dishonored, and The Evil Within.
Xbox Head Phil Spencer says this is an arrangement that the company has been working towards for years. It's a big move that has an overall part to play in Xbox's vision for the future of gaming.
Over the past year one large chunk of that vision has centered around cloud gaming. Previously known as xCloud, the now available (in beta) Cloud Gaming with Xbox Game Pass Ultimate ensures players have access to some of the best experiences in gaming no matter where they are.
This morning's announced deal will likely play a role in that too. Spencer says that in the coming months Xbox Game Pass for console and PC will gain access to Bethesda's iconic franchises. Which means you could soon see DOOM on Game Pass.
Spencer doesn't mention cloud gaming here. But there's a pretty big chance those games will end up being playable through cloud gaming at some point as well.
The deal still has to be approved
Though an agreement has been reached between Microsoft and Zenimax Media, the still has to gain regulatory approval.
Microsoft says that it expects that to happen sometime in the second half of 2021. Which means the acquisition isn't entirely complete until then. Nevertheless it's a pretty big win for Microsoft and Xbox.
It will soon own one of the largest groups of game studios out there, with some of the most popular game franchises out there. And that can only lead to good things for the Xbox ecosystem.