Microsoft just bought ZeniMax, Bethsoft, and Elder Scrolls Online’s ZOS for $7.5B

    
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Microsoft just bought ZeniMax, Bethsoft, and Elder Scrolls Online’s ZOS for $7.5B

Here’s your Monday bombshell: Microsoft announced this morning that it has acquired ZeniMax Media – and therefore Bethesda Softworks and ZeniMax Online Studios and all its franchises and games, including the ones near and dear to us, Elder Scrolls Online and Fallout 76.

“Today is a special day, as we welcome some of the most accomplished studios in the games industry to Xbox,” Microsoft’s Phil Spencer said. “We are thrilled to announce Microsoft has entered into an agreement to acquire ZeniMax Media, parent company of Bethesda Softworks.” The press release reveals that Microsoft paid $7.5B in cash for the megacorp.

Bethsoft’s Todd Howard’s letter to the community is a bit low on explainers and more about reminiscing, but ZeniMax Online Studios’ Matt Firor issued a separate and more clear letter to Elder Scrolls Online fans, assuring them that “ESO will continue to be supported exactly as it was, and we fully expect it to keep growing and thriving on each of the platforms that are currently supported” – note the wording there. “Rest assured in the knowledge that we are focused on supporting you for many more years to come.” Bethsoft’s Pete Hines further calls Microsoft “the perfect fit.”

Update
Spencer’s been making the round on financial sites today giving more insight into what the future will bring, for example telling Bloomberg that future launches on non-Xbox consoles would be measured on a “case-by-case basis.” Here he is on CNBC:

“The commitments we’ve already made with the gamers out there on the games people know about, we will continue with those commitments. The thing this is really about is a huge investment in our Xbox community. They know that the great games coming from ZeniMax and all of those studios—we’re now over 23 studios inside of Xbox—those games will be able to come to the Xbox community, they’ll come to Game Pass day-and-date, and people will just have this amazing collection of great games to continue to play on Xbox.”

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Oronatu Urikhan

Why innovate when you can assimilate?

Karma_Mule
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Karma_Mule

Henceforth Azura will be known as Azure… ;-)

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Bruno Brito

ESO will continue to be supported exactly as it was

Badly?

rafael12104
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rafael12104

They will continue with that commitment. Heh.

But, yeah. Game performance in cyrodiil is due to game design. So, I doubt that MS will fix that type of stuff at this point.

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Bruno Brito

A lot of the game shortcomings are due to design. Lack of cooldowns was a terrible idea. Barswapping is a crutch for incomplete skillsets. The game has too much dependency on sets with passive buffs and also on selfbuffing out of the wazoo..

rafael12104
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rafael12104

Lol! Even Apple and Epic, fighting over by the jungle gym, will stop for a moment and wonder if they have missed something.

Tencent, will just chuckle in their chair and demand more grapes from their Activision servants.

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PanagiotisLial1

I am pretty sure MS could even buy Tenscent as well if they wanted – just to inherit all the stocks they got on various studios but i dont think so

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Jack Pipsam

The money involved is eye-watering.

I cannot help but fear something or someone has to break at some point, Microsoft now has more studios than many third-party publishers.

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Greaterdivinity

What a MASSIVE pickup for Microsoft, seriously this is enormous. Also worth noting, this is nearly 50% MORE than Disney paid for Star Wars ($4B apparently) which is freakin mind blowing.

Microsoft sure doesn’t mind slappin down a few billion here or there for some studios/IP’s, $2B for Minecraft previously. I’d be curious to know how much Microsoft has shelled out in their acquisitions, because they also picked up Obsidian and a few other developers in the past year as well. Even if you separate Minecraft, they have to be approaching $10B in acquisitions which is pretty freakin nuts.

Too bad this came so late with the next-gen launch, but hopefully this will set them up to have a stronger mid/end of this generation after what’s looking like a pretty weak start.

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Eamil

The amount they paid is mind-blowing for sure, but given the number of other storied IPs they’re picking up besides Bethesda’s core ones (I mean Doom alone has a hell of a legacy), and the fact that all of their studios could now get access to those IPs, I have to imagine it’s worth the money, on top of actually acquiring the companies themselves and their ongoing operations of course.

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Shanoobis

Food for thought : after this announcement their stock price jumped $5 a share adding $37,838,264,675 value to the company not bad at all.

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PanagiotisLial1

By the way I would rule out they ever use the ES IP on other things it could work, like movies, lol

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Sorenthaz

Oh boy. Wonder how this will go. Folks have been pointing to the fact that now Obsidian and Bethesda are under the same parent entity so maybe it could lead to Obsidian doing another Fallout, but who knows. I wouldn’t really get my hopes up since Obsidian’s writing team has been taking a nosedive since Pillars of Eternity 2 and Outer Worlds.

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Zero_1_Zerum

I hope PC players don’t get screwed. Recently M$ has seemed to remember they make Windows, the OS most PC players use to game on, but for a very long time they focused on just the Xbox with their exclusives, so PC players were always left out. I’d hate for all ZeniMax games to be Xbox only.

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Rndomuser

PC players won’t get screwed. Microsoft has abandoned idea of making Xbox exclusives long time ago. The next Halo game was already announced to be on PC.

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Bryan Turner

Why would PC players get screwed when Microsoft makes Windows and X Box?

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Jack Pipsam

Their games are all coming to Steam now, so chances are nothing changes.

No idea what the future of Bethesda.net or their client is though.

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Armsman

Windows 10 has the ability to run almost any Xbox game anyway they even have a icon for it.

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Viktor Budusov

Todd just sold Skyrim one more time.

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agemyth 😩

Wow, this is huge. This is the first of their recent acquisitions that has felt like it could actually put a dent in fighting the perception that MS has no first party games. I thought Minecraft/Mojang would be a bigger deal than it was, but they (rightfully) have supported and developed new Minecraft games for competing systems even though I doubt companies like Sony would.

If Starfield and the next Elder Scrolls are Xbox console exclusives that could be game changing for Xbox.

It is also pretty funny that some people were trying to say Avowed was aiming to be an “Elder Scrolls killer” and now this happens :P