Microsoft agrees $7.5bn deal to buy Bethesda parent company ZeniMax Media

Microsoft has entered into a $7.5 billion deal to buy Bethesda Softworks parent company ZeniMax Media. Head of Xbox Phil Spencer revealed the news on a blog post on Xbox’s website, going on to call Bethesda “one of the largest, most critically acclaimed, privately-held game developers and publishers in the world”. A subsequent press release reveals the figure to be “$7.5 billion in cash”.

“Bethesda’s games have always had a special place on Xbox and in the hearts of millions of gamers around the world,” he says. “Our teams have a close and storied history working together, from the amazing first DOOM, and its id Tech engine, innovating games on PCs to Bethesda bringing their first console game to the original Xbox, the groundbreaking The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind. Over the years I’ve had many deep conversations with the creative leaders at Bethesda on the future of gaming, and we’ve long shared similar visions for the opportunities for creators and their games to reach more players in more ways.”

Bethesda employs more than 2,300 people over studios Bethesda Softworks, Bethesda Game Studios, id Software, ZeniMax Online Studios, Arkane, MachineGames, Tango Gameworks, Alpha Dog, and Roundhouse Studios. Those developers are involved in such series as The Elder Scrolls, Fallout, Wolfenstein, DOOM, Dishonored, Prey, Quake, Starfield, and more.

Spencer also goes on to say that Microsoft will be adding Bethesda’s iconic franchises to Xbox Game Pass for console and PC.

“Just as they took the bold first steps to bring The Elder Scrolls franchise to the original Xbox,” he says. “Bethesda were early supporters of Xbox Game Pass, bringing their games to new audiences across devices and have been actively investing in new gaming technology like cloud streaming of games.

“We will be adding Bethesda’s iconic franchises to Xbox Game Pass for console and PC. One of the things that has me most excited is seeing the roadmap with Bethesda’s future games, some announced and many unannounced, to Xbox console and PC including Starfield, the highly anticipated, new space epic currently in development by Bethesda Game Studios.”