Microsoft to acquire gaming company and 'Bethesda' parent company ZeniMax Media for $7.5 billion
Yahoo Finance's Dan Howley reports on the Microsoft acquisition of Zenimax media for $7.5 billion.
#Microsoft #ZeniMax #Bethesda
Microsoft (MSFT) on Monday announced plans to acquire video game giant Bethesda’s parent company ZeniMax Media, one of the world’s most important gaming firms, for a whopping $7.5 billion. The publisher of franchises ranging from “The Elder Scrolls” and “Doom” to “Wolfenstein” and “Fallout,” ZeniMax’s titles are some of the most storied in the industry.
To say that Microsoft’s latest acquisition is a coup for the gaming powerhouse is an understatement. It not only adds 8 new studios to the company’s empire, bringing the total to 23, but, more importantly, ensures that ZeniMax’s titles will appear on Microsoft’s Xbox Game Pass subscription service the same day they hit the market. Titles from third-party developers often don’t make it to Game Pass until months after their initial release.
“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,” Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said in a statement following the announcement.
It’s a huge win for Microsoft, which is set to launch its Xbox Series S and Series X consoles in November, and proves the company is determined to steal the next-generation of the console wars from rival Sony (SNE) and its PlayStation 5.
“With over 15 million subscribers currently on its Game Pass MSFT is doubling down on its consumer endeavors with this acquisition, a smart and strategic move in our opinion heading into its highly anticipated new console release,” Wedbush’s Dan Ives wrote in an analyst note following the announcement.
ZeniMax’s library is beloved by gamers
ZeniMax’s 8 game studios provide Microsoft with the ability to push out titles for every form of gaming, whether that’s on consoles, PCs, or mobile. That includes Bethesda, the developer of “The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim,” a game that’s been ported to so many different platforms it’s become a running joke about how many times the company can get gamers to buy the same title.
It’s not just Bethesda, either. ZeniMax also owns Id Software, the developer of the “Doom” franchise; Arkane Studios, the developer of “Dishonored” and “Prey;” and Machine Games, the developer of the “Wolfenstein” franchise.
These are games that sell millions of units over their lifetimes, and heavily influence the direction of the industry.
Importantly, Microsoft says it will keep ZeniMax’s 2,300 employees and leadership structure in place. That gives hope that Microsoft will allow ZeniMax’s development studios and publishing houses to continue to operate as they have in the past, ensuring they are able to create and push out the kind of content that has won over so many gamers in the firm’s roughly 34-year history.
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