Microsoft dropped a huge bombshell today when it confirmed it had acquired ZeniMax Media, the parent company of Fallout and The Elder Scrolls developer Bethesda, for a cool $7.5 billion.
The purchase means a catalogue of huge IP's now live exclusively under the Microsoft umbrella, including the aforementioned Fallout and Elder Scrolls series, along with Doom, Quake, Dishonored and many more. ZeniMax also owns several other studios, such as Doom's id Software, and Prey developer Arkane Studios.
Also snapped up in the purchase is Alpha Dog, a mobile developer, along with MachineGames, the team behind the Wolfenstein games, Rune 2 developer Roundhouse Studios, and Tango Gameworks.
Phil Spencer announced the purchase stating that "Bethesda’s games have always had a special place on Xbox and in the hearts of millions of gamers around the world" and that "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."
As for my thoughts on this purchase, firstly, Sony has to take this as a huge loss for their upcoming PlayStation 5, which will now likely miss out on The Elder Scrolls VI, along with future Fallout, Doom and other major titles. It remains likely that existing titles such as The Elder Scrolls Online will remain supported on Sony's platforms, however.
Secondly, could we finally see a new Fallout game developed by The Outer Worlds and New Vegas developer Obsidian Entertainment? Given both companies now sit under the Xbox Games Studios family, it seems more likely than ever before.