Microsoft To Acquire Bethesda Softworks Parent ZeniMax Media For $7.5 Bln In Cash

Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) said Monday it plans to acquire ZeniMax Media for $7.5 billion in cash.

ZeniMax Media is a privately-owned media organization headquartered outside Washington DC and the parent company of Bethesda Softworks, a privately-held game developer and publisher.

Bethesda is the creator of critically acclaimed gaming franchises including ‘The Elder Scrolls’ and ‘Fallout’ among many others. Microsoft noted that Bethesda will bring a portfolio of games, technology, talent, as well as a track record of blockbuster commercial success, to Xbox.

The planned acquisition includes publishing offices and development studios across the globe with more than 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.

Microsoft expects the acquisition to close in the second half of fiscal year 2021 and to have minimal impact to adjusted operating income in fiscal years 2021 as well as 2022.

Bethesda parent company ZeniMax Media was founded in 1999 by Chairman and CEO Robert Altman. According to Microsoft, Bethesda’s structure and leadership will remain in place.

Microsoft noted that games are the primary growth engine in gaming and are fueling new cloud-gaming services like Xbox Game Pass, which has reached a new milestone of over 15 million subscribers.

With the addition of Bethesda, Microsoft said it will grow from 15 to 23 creative studio teams and will be adding Bethesda’s iconic franchises to Xbox Game Pass.

This includes Microsoft’s intent to bring Bethesda’s future games into Xbox Game Pass the same day they launch on Xbox or PC, like ‘Starfield’, the new space epic currently in development by Bethesda Game Studios.

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