In a somewhat surprising revelation, Phil Spencer today announced over on the Xbox Blog that Microsoft has acquired Bethesda Softworks’ parent studio, ZeniMax Media. This includes studios such as Bethesda Game Studios, id Software, ZeniMax Online Studios, Arkane, MachineGames, Tango Gameworks, Alpha Dog, and Roundhouse Studios, aside from Bethesda Softworks itself.
These are the teams responsible for franchises like The Elder Scrolls, Fallout, Wolfenstein, DOOM, Dishonored, Prey, Quake, Starfield and many more.
This also means that most of these titles will be available to Xbox Game Pass owners on Xbox and Windows 10. This essentially means if one were to subscribe to the Xbox Game Pass Premium, they would get access to EA Play Titles, Bethesda titles as well as Microsoft’s own titles. This is a massive library of games available on a subscription-based service, which supports cross-play across console, PC and even mobile. Microsoft had announced their plans to prioritise game subscription and cloud services over hardware upgrades to combat the next-gen console market, and this certainly seems to be a definitive step towards solidifying that decision.
This particular purchase comes to the tune of around $7.5 billion, making it the biggest acquisition in the video game industry ever.
It will be interesting to see what the competing console markets have to say about this new boost to the Xbox market.
Currently, Microsoft is offering “Xbox All Access” for the next gen consoles, which includes
- The next-generation Xbox console of your choice
- Over 100 high-quality games to play on console, including next-gen Optimized games
- Over 100 high-quality games to play on PC
- An EA Play membership to play more than 60 of EA’s biggest and best console and PC games
- And over 100 games to play from the cloud
That’s all with no upfront costs and a low monthly price. Xbox Series S will be available starting from $24.99 a month for 24 months and Xbox Series X will be available starting from $34.99 a month for 24 months.