In the latest of a series of blockbuster moves, Microsoft has now acquired Zenimax Media and its subsidiary, Bethesda Softworks, for $7.5 billion.
In a blog post on Xbox Wire, studio head Phil Spencer welcomed ZeniMax to the Xbox family: “Today is a special day, as we welcome some of the most accomplished studios in the games industry to Xbox. We are thrilled to announce Microsoft has entered into an agreement to acquire ZeniMax Media, parent company of Bethesda Softworks.”
It's worth noting that Bethesda is the publisher for many critically acclaimed console games such as The Elder Scrolls, Fallout, Doom and Wolfenstein. This means we could see many of these games come to mobile through Microsoft’s xCloud service on the Xbox Game Pass app, where players can experience high-end graphics on their mobile devices through the power of streaming technology. We’ve often joked about Skyrim being on every system, but having it available on our smartphones could be a very real possibility now.
Spencer went on to say: “Just as they took the bold first steps to bring The Elder Scrolls franchise to the original Xbox, 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.”
According to the official press release, Microsoft has reportedly spent $7.5 billion on this move, almost double of Disney’s $4 billion purchase of Star Wars back in 2012. It’s also interesting to note that it means Doom could become an exclusive in Xbox’s cloud streaming ecosystem, considering those games were at the centre of Google Stadia’s initial presentation.
In any case, it looks like with every acquisition Microsoft makes, cloud gaming on mobile gets a little more exciting.