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Microsoft Purchases Bethesda Studios For $7.5 Billion

Source: Christian Petersen / Getty

Microsoft made a massive purchase on Monday (Sept.21) just a day before the company takes the big step toward the next-generation of gaming.

If you don’t know by now, Microsoft backed up the Brinks truck yesterday and dropped $7.5 billion to acquire ZeniMax Media, the parent company of Bethesda Studios. So what does that mean for the future of gaming? Well, once the deal is finalized, Xbox gamers will see Bethesda’s A-list titles like The Elder Scrolls, Fallout, Wolfenstein, Quake, Starfield, and DOOM on Xbox Game Pass. Microsoft’s recently announced its subscription service has now topped 15 million subscribers and more than likely will continue its upward trend following this news.

The deal is expected to be finalized in the second half of the fiscal year 2021.

Speaking on its significant acquisition, Microsoft said in a statement:

“With the addition of Bethesda, Microsoft will grow from 15 to 23 creative studio teams and will be adding Bethesda’s iconic franchises to Xbox Game Pass. This includes Microsoft’s intent to bring Bethesda’s future games into Xbox Game Pass the same day they launch on Xbox or PC.”

The Bethesda acquisition is now Microsoft’s biggest purchase of a video game studio since it dropped $2.5 billion on Mojang, the company behind the Minecraft.

Pete Hines, Bethesda’s senior vice president of PR and marketing, spoke on the deal, adding:

“We’re 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. [The deal] 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.”

Now, most folks believe the deal could help swing sales in Microsoft’s favor due to the timing of the news. BUT, George Jijiashvili, a senior analyst at Omdia who researches video games, feels the deal will have no impact on the next-gen “console wars,” at this moment. He feels most gamers have already made up their minds about which console they want and sees this move as something panning out in the long-term.

“I think that this announcement has little to no impact on the sales of PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X at launch because the reality is that most of the console gamers have already set their minds on a particular console.” 

“So, this deal is more of a long-term investment.”

Jijiashvili also believes that Sony right now is in the driver’s seat and thinks the PS5 will outsell the Xbox Series X and Series S two-to-one in the first couple of years. His reasoning is because the deal will not take into effect immediately and will have no immediate impact.

BUT he did point out that Bethesda’s acquisition will help bolster Xbox Game Pass and make it more popular with gamers.

“This was the first of its kind where Microsoft is really kind of putting its money where its mouth is in terms of wanting to really grow this Xbox ecosystem through subscriptions. It is a huge deal.”

Following the announcement of the deal, Xbox and PC fans were excited. Still, there was some concern from other console owners who are not happy to learn that their favorite Bethesda title won’t be available to them in the near future. Bethesda still makes titles for all consoles and currently has two timed- exclusives coming to PS5, Deathloop and Ghostwire.

Speaking with Bloomberg, Xbox chief Phil Spencer revealed future games like Starfield will be available for Xbox, PC, and Xbox Game Pass and added:

“We’ll take other consoles on a case-by-case basis.”

We are intrigued to see how this news will affect things going forward.

Photo: Christian Petersen / Getty