The European Commission has approved Microsoft’s $7.5 billion acquisition of ZeniMax Media which includes the entire Bethesda Softworks division including the developer behind games like DOOM, Wolfenstein and The Elder Scrolls Online.
According to the European Commission, the acquisition does not raise any serious doubts as to its compatibility with the common market. This means that the buyout is almost complete and Microsoft can share its news on how the company will approach future releases that come out of ZeniMax Media.
Once the Microsoft Bethesda acquisition is complete, Microsoft would then own 23 studios across all of its new purchases in recent years. The ZeniMax Media venture is the biggest acquisition in gaming history and includes studios such as Arkane, MachineGames, id Software, Tango Gameworks and ZeniMax Online.
By the look of things, Microsoft plans to keep Bethesda operating as usual. This means the company and its studios will still keep on developing games they are currently working on including the two timed PS5 exclusives Deathloop and Ghostwire Tokyo. However, it is still unclear how the future project will be affected by this venture. Will games like The Elder Scrolls VI and Starfield be exclusive to the Xbox ecosystem? We don’t know just yet.
Microsoft has stated in the past that they will focus on the exclusivity of future releases on a “case-by-case” basis. Even that still does not give us an idea of the plans ahead. The company is focusing heavily on Xbox Game Pass so perhaps future titles will release on all platforms but the idea of a “free game” on the service will be enough to shift players toward the Xbox service.
Source: EU Commission