Microsoft announced this morning that it will acquire Bethesda Softworks, creators and publishers of massive games like Skyrim, DOOM, the Fallout franchise, and more for $7.5 billion USD.
While this move is somewhat unprecedented (it’s set to be Microsoft’s biggest video game acquisition ever), it’s a sensible move to boost the offerings of the upcoming XBOX Series X/Series S consoles set to release this holiday season. Although the full effects of the merger likely won’t be felt for a year or two at minimum, it could make Microsoft’s console a significantly stronger competitor against the PlayStation 5, a console with a widely-praised launch title lineup featuring games like Spider Man: Miles Morales and Demon’s Souls.
“Gaming is the most expansive category in the entertainment industry, as people everywhere turn to gaming to connect, socialize and play with their friends,” said Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella. “Quality differentiated content is the engine behind the growth and value of Xbox Game Pass—from Minecraft to Flight Simulator. As a proven game developer and publisher, Bethesda has seen success across every category of games, and together, we will further our ambition to empower the more than three billion gamers worldwide.”
Bethesda is currently working on a follow-up game in the Elder Scrolls series, the massively popular fantasy IP that spawned ridiculously successful games like Skyrim and Oblivion, as well as an entirely new space-themed project entitled Starfield. It remains to be seen whether the acquisition will see Bethesda games turning into full (or timed, meaning one platform gets the game first) exclusives for XBOX and PC. The merger also opens up the possibility of a new Fallout game from developers Obsidian, who worked on the immensely popular Fallout: New Vegas but has been unable to secure the rights to a long-hoped-for sequel since.
Stay tuned for more gaming news from Modern Notoriety. In case you missed it, Sony revealed a ton of new details on the forthcoming PlayStation 5 and its exclusive games.