Xbox's Phil Spencer officially welcomed the ZeniMax Media team, the parent company of studios like Bethesda Softworks and ESO dev ZeniMax Online Studios, to the Microsoft family. This comes a day after the European Commission greenlit Microsoft's acquisition of the gaming company in the largest merger in video game industry history.
The acquisition of ZeniMax Media is worth $7.5 billion USD, making it the largest deal of the kind in video games industry history. Microsoft, as a result, bolsters its first-party studio line up to 23 different studios by adding the ZeniMax companies, as well as now owns the rights to storied gaming IPs like DOOM, Fallout and The Elder Scrolls.
In a blog post on Xbox Wire, Phil Spencer, the Head of Xbox, welcomed the team at the ZeniMax studios across the world, as well as teased some things Xbox and PC gamers have been wondering about ever since the acquisition was first announced: exclusives.
After talking about how the goal is to give Bethesda "the best foundation for doing their greatest work and to learn from them" as Microsoft continues it's work to build Xbox into what he Spencer calls "an inclusive platform for all players," Spencer went on to discuss the long-term plan for Game Pass, PC and Xbox consoles in general.
"This is the next step in building an industry-leading first party studios team, a commitment we have to our Xbox community. With the addition of the Bethesda creative teams, gamers should know that Xbox consoles, PC, and Game Pass will be the best place to experience new Bethesda games, including some new titles in the future that will be exclusive to Xbox and PC players."
It's unclear which games or how many new titles will be exclusive to the Microsoft platforms, but we do know that the Xbox team isn't undercutting deals already in place with rival Sony. Both PlayStation 5 exclusives Deathloop and GhostWire: Tokyo will still ship on the platform. Additionally, many games already released on the rival platforms like the MMORPG The Elder Scrolls Online are still getting their next gen upgrades on both Xbox Series and PlayStation 5 consoles.
In a separate blog post, Senior Vice President of PR and Marketing at Bethesda Pete Hines has stated that nothing is being announced or changes - right now.
"First, let me say that we’re not making any landmark announcements or changes right now. As we’ve all shared, the expectation is that Bethesda Softworks and our studios will continue as we have in the past, just with more support and resources than we’ve ever had before. Obviously, Game Pass has been an important initiative for Xbox, and we’ll be working on putting even more of our games into Game Pass than ever before. Beyond that? Stay tuned, we’re just getting started together."
Bethesda celebrated the merger with a video showing their history and teams in action, looking at the past, present and future of the development and publishing house.
The confirmation today comes a day after the European Commission approved the merger, and a week after the United State's SEC did the same.