Media Moves and News

Microsoft pays $7.5 bln for game-maker Bethesda

September 22, 2020

Posted by Irina Slav

Microsoft has acquired video games company Bethesda in a $7.5-billion deal.

Reese Oxner reported the news for NPR:

In what is set to be one of the largest ever acquisitions in the video game industry, Microsoft announced Monday that it has reached a deal to acquire ZeniMax Media, the parent company of popular video game publisher Bethesda Softworks, for $7.5 billion.

Once the deal is finalized, Bethesda properties including The Elder Scrolls, Fallout, Wolfenstein, Quake, Starfield and DOOM will be owned by Microsoft. These series will be added to the Xbox Game Pass, a subscription-based cloud gaming service which has topped 15 million subscribers.

The Wall Street Journal’s Aaron Tilley and Sarah E. Needleman wrote:

Microsoft said Monday that it would acquire ZeniMax’s offices and more than 2,300 employees. In addition to Doom, Bethesda is known for publishing hit franchises such as The Elder Scrolls and Fallout. Other ZeniMax subsidiaries include id Software, MachineGames and Tango Gameworks.

With the acquisition, Microsoft Chief Executive Satya Nadella moved swiftly after failed talks over the summer to buy parts of TikTok that raised the question of what he might do next.

Geekwire’s Thomas Wilde noted:

While Bethesda has a mixed reputation among video game enthusiasts — its big open-world games are notoriously buggy; the last couple of Wolfensteins were deeply flawed; and 2018’s multiplayer Fallout 76 was a notorious near-total misfire on its debut — it remains one of the biggest companies in the industry. This year’s Doom Eternal, the hotly anticipated sequel to 2016’s reboot of the foundational first-person shooter series, is estimated to have sold at least 3 million copies at launch, and the last game in the Elder Scrolls series, 2011’s Skyrim, had sold at least 30 million copies by 2016.

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