Microsoft has announced on September 21, 2020, via a statement to the public that the company has started the acquisition process for ZeniMax Media, the parent company of one of the largest gaming publisher/developer in the world, Bethesda Softworks.
The sales will see Microsoft forking out a huge sum of USD 7.5 billion in cash and gaining in return, ZeniMax’s publishing offices and development studios spanning the globe with over 2,300 employees, including Bethesda Softworks, Bethesda Game Studios, id Software, ZeniMax Online Studios, Arkane, MachineGames, Tango Gameworks, Alpha Dog, and Roundhouse Studios. Bethesda’s critically acclaimed and best-selling franchises include The Elder Scrolls, Fallout, DOOM, Quake, Wolfenstein, and Dishonored, among others.
The inclusion of studios under ZeniMax into Microsoft’s fold will see the Xbox manufacturer growing from 15 to 23 creative studio teams. Microsoft intends to bring future Bethesda games into its Xbox Game Pass services on the same day they launch on Xbox or PC, including the new upcoming and highly-anticipated Bethesda title, Starfield.
Bethesda parent company ZeniMax Media was founded in 1999 by Chairman and CEO Robert A. Altman; Bethesda’s structure and leadership will remain in place.
The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions and completion of regulatory review. Microsoft expects the acquisition to close in the second half of fiscal year 2021 and to have minimal impact on non-GAAP operating income in fiscal years 2021 and 2022. Non-GAAP excludes the expected impact of purchase accounting adjustments, as well as integration and transaction-related expenses.