Microsoft’s desire to acquire ZeniMax Media, the owner of Bethesda, was approved by the European Union yesterday. This approval process followed a similar one in the US. If you are curious as to the purpose of these review processes, the intent is to analyze risk for potential monopolies in the market. That doesn’t appear to be the case for this merger though. Now that both of these regulatory reviews have passed, Microsoft has officially welcomed Bethesda into its Xbox first party lineup.
An Xbox Wire post goes over the affair, and it’s clear that the acquisition will change the dynamic of the gaming industry. Microsoft and Bethesda under one roof will provide quite the library of intellectual property for either of them to pull from. Oh, and Game Pass will almost certainly benefit from this new partnership too.
The post gives a quick rundown on the breadth of new studios now owned by Microsoft. In total, the Bethesda acquisition adds eight developments teams to Xbox Games Studios. These include Bethesda Game Studios, id Software, ZeniMax Online Studios, Arkane Studios, MachineGames, Tango Gameworks, Alpha Dog, and Roundhouse Studios.
So yes, Microsoft hasn’t just bought the creators of The Elder Scrolls series. Bethesda as a publisher also owns all of the above development teams, which have delivered the likes of Dishonored, The Evil Within and the recent Wolfenstein reboot series, to name a few.
Bethesda has a storied history, which the post also goes over in brief. However, it’s the future of the company under Microsoft’s wing that interests us the most. The Elder Scrolls and Fallout are some of the most renown series in the games industry, and new entries arriving day and date on Game Pass is a tantalizing thought.
That Game Pass collaboration is already kicking into gear. We know future titles will launch there, but Microsoft is working to add more of Bethesda’s back catalog to the Xbox service lineup too. To celebrate the official merger of the two companies, Microsoft is bringing more Bethesda titles to Game Pass this week.