Microsoft to acquire ZeniMax Media


Microsoft on Monday announced plans to acquire ZeniMax Media, the parent company of Bethesda Softworks, for $7.5 billion in cash. Bethesda Softworks is one of the largest, privately held game developers and publishers in the world, with franchises including The Elder Scrolls, Doom, Quake, and Fallout.

The planned acquisition includes publishing offices and development studios worldwide, with over 2,300 employees, including Bethesda Softworks, Bethesda Game Studios, id Software, ZeniMax Online Studios, Arkane, MachineGames, Tango Gameworks, Alpha Dog, and Roundhouse Studios. With the addition of Bethesda, Microsoft will grow from 15 to 23 creative studio teams, says the Redmond giant.

Microsoft will be adding Bethesda’s franchises to its Xbox Game Pass. In a statement, Microsoft said it intends to bring Bethesda’s future games into Xbox Game Pass the same day they launch on Xbox or PC.

Bethesda parent company ZeniMax Media was founded in 1999 by chairman and CEO Robert Altman. Bethesda’s structure and leadership will remain in place, says Microsoft.

The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions and completion of regulatory review. Microsoft expects the acquisition to close in the second half of fiscal year 2021.

[Image courtesy: Microsoft]