Microsoft to buy Bethesda parent ZeniMax Media for $7.5bn
Microsoft said on Monday that it has agreed to buy ZeniMax Media, the parent of game developers Bethesda Softworks, for $7.5bn in cash.
With the addition of Bethesda, Microsoft will grow from 15 to 23 creative studio teams and will be adding Bethesda’s iconic franchises to Xbox Game Pass, it said. This includes Microsoft’s intent to bring Bethesda’s future games into Xbox Game Pass the same day they launch on Xbox or PC, like Starfield, the new space epic currently in development by Bethesda Game Studios.
Microsoft chief executive officer Satya Nadella said: "Gaming is the most expansive category in the entertainment industry, as people everywhere turn to gaming to connect, socialise and play with their friends.
"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."
The planned acquisition includes publishing offices and development studios spanning the globe with more than 2,300 employees, including Bethesda Softworks, Bethesda Game Studios, id Software, ZeniMax Online Studios, Arkane, MachineGames, Tango Gameworks, Alpha Dog, and Roundhouse Studios.
The deal is expected to complete in the second half of 2021 and to have minimal impact on Microsoft’s non-GAAP operating income in 2021 and 2022.