Microsoft has announced it is acquiring ZeniMax Media, the parent company of gaming studio Bethesda Softworks, for $7.5 billion in cash.
Bethesda Softworks is the studio behind The Elder Scrolls, Fallout, Rogue Warrior, Ghostwire: Tokyo and others. Bethesda has established itself as one of the most successful, privately held game studios in the world.
Microsoft’s acquisition will help the company capitalize on the growing gaming market, and fits in well with its current software strategy. While the Microsoft of the past fiercely protected its own platforms, under CEO Satya Nadella the company has emphasized providing the best software experience on all available platforms. This has resulted in more of its software being available on macOS, iOS, Android and Linux, in addition to Windows.
The same is true for gaming. Microsoft is focusing on providing the best gaming experiencing wherever, and on whatever device, a person may be playing. Owning a studio with Bethesda’s track record is a big step toward that goal.
“Gaming is the most expansive category in the entertainment industry, as people everywhere turn to gaming to connect, socialize and play with their friends,” said Satya Nadella, CEO, Microsoft. “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.”