As we inch closer to the ZeniMax purchase by Microsoft which was announced back in September 2020, new reports have indicated exactly how Microsoft plans on doing so. In documents on the European Commission's website cite the new subsidiary as part of Microsoft's approach to complete the $7.5bn acquisition of ZeniMax.
The documents, via Eurogamer, which are part of Microsoft's approach in asking the European Union to approve the acquisition, cite a new company, called Vault, which Microsoft would be creating to host ZeniMax as a way to close the deal. The relevant bit in the document reads:
"The concentration is accomplished by way of a merger pursuant to which a newly created Microsoft subsidiary ('Vault') will be merged with and into ZeniMax."
It's unclear whether or not ZeniMax will be known as Vault after this merger, or if Vault itself will be absorbed under the ZeniMax umbrella. It does signal some of the independent nature we can expect from ZeniMax's studios compared to the rest of the Xbox Game Studios family, something that both parties at Xbox and Bethesda themselves have remained consistent on.
Microsoft will still be honoring the PS5 exclusivity of Deathloop for example, and Pete Hines, Bethesda's SVP of Global Marketing has gone on record stating that they will still be publishing their games. This is very different than the approach other studios recently purchased by Microsoft
Creating subsidiaries is nothing new in these types of deals, either, with Electronic Arts planning to do the same for its upcoming acquisition of CodeMasters, creating a subsidiary company called Codex Games to host the European studio, per Eurogamer. The European Union will be deciding whether to approve the ZeniMax acquisition by Microsoft in an Anti-Trust hearing March 5th.